According to a source, the raid conducted by the FBI on the offices of the personal attorney of US President Donald Trump was for a specific purpose; they were looking for details about agreements, arrangements and payments concerning women who have claimed to have sexual relationships with the president. During its search of Michael Cohen’s office on Monday, the FBI was seeking any information about payments made to Stormy Daniels, an adult-film star who had been paid $130,000 from the lawyer in exchange for signing a non-disclosure agreement as well as those made to a former playboy model, Karen McDougal.
The searches of Cohen’s home and office were denounced as disgraceful by Trump on Monday. It has to be said that the search conducted by the FBI was a dramatic new development in a series of events that pertain to the associates of the Republican president.
The raids are concerned with the federal investigation that’s currently being led by Robert Mueller, US Special Counsel. He is looking into the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections and possible collusion by the aides of Trump’s campaign. It was the New York Times that first reported the news.
It also said that the search warrant had been for information related to McDougal as the parent company had paid $150,000 to The National Enquirer for withholding the story about her relationship with the president. Before becoming president, Donald Trump was a New York businessman, who has close ties with the CEO of the company.
Daniel’s legal name is Stephanie Clifford and she has sued Cohen for releasing her from a non-disclosure agreement over an alleged one-night stand with Trump in 2006. McDougal, on the other hand, has said that her affair with the now-president had been longer. Officials of the Trump administrations have denied the allegations about his relationship with these women.
The source has disclosed that the investigators are checking this aspect to see if there was a broader pattern of wire fraud, tax fraud, money laundering and tax evasion in the private dealings of Cohen. This also includes the work the attorney did for Trump and also some real estate transactions involving Russian buyers and prices that were way higher than the market value.
Trump expressed his anger over the raids targeting his lawyer through two Tweets on Monday. He once again attacked law enforcement and regarded the actions as a ‘witch hunt’. It was reported that the president had been so enraged by the searches that he was considering firing Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General. Officials with knowledge of the investigation said that he had signed off on the raid.
The Russian investigation has been haunting Trump since he took office in 2017 and he has even suggested publicly to try to dismiss Mueller and has also publicly criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation. The events on Monday have renewed concerns that Trump might once again try to get rid of Mueller.