NEW YORK, N.Y. — The FBI on Monday raided the Manhattan office of President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen.
In a statement released by Cohen’s attorney, Stephen Ryan confirmed the raid, which he said resulted from a “completely inappropriate and unnecessary” search warrant issued by special counsel Robert Mueller.
“Today the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York executed a series of search warrants and seized the privileged communications between my client, Michael Cohen, and his clients,” the statement reads. ” I have been advised by federal prosecutors that the New York action is, in part, a referral by the Office of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.”
“The decision by the US Attorney’s Office in New York to conduct their investigation using search warrants is completely inappropriate and unnecessary. It resulted in the unnecessary seizure of protected attorney client communications between a lawyer and his clients,” the statement continues. “These government tactics are also wrong because Mr. Cohen has cooperated completely with all government entities, including providing thousands of non-privileged documents to the Congress and sitting for depositions under oath.”
According to a report published by the New York Times, a financial agreement signed by former adult film star Stormy Daniels regarding an alleged romantic relationship Daniels claims to have had with Trump more than a decade ago is one of the “many topics” being looked at by the FBI.
Daniels was reportedly paid $130,000 in exchange for signing the confidentiality agreement just days prior to the 2016 presidential election, an agreement that Cohen has publicly admitted to securing.
Critics claim the agreement violates campaign finance laws, an allegation that Cohen has vehemently denied.
Last week, President Trump addressed the agreement publicly for the first time, denying that he had prior knowledge of the payoff.
“You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen,” Trump said when pressed for details on the arrangement. “Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael.”
Last week, The Hill reported that Meuller was also seeking information relating to Cohen’s involvement in negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Cohen reportedly contacted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s chief spokesman about moving forward on the project, but did not receive a response.
Negotiations about the proposed property came to a hault, say reports, in early 2016, during the height of Trump’s presidential campaign.
The raid on Cohen’s office, say sources, does not directly relate to the ongoing investigation into alleged Russian meddling with the 2016 presidential election.