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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer 22:25 - Apr 9 with 18492 viewsShaky

FBI executes 'series of search warrants,' raids Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's office

Story: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/04/09/politics/michael-cohen-fbi/index.html

Trump is said to be watching a loop of the TV clip covering the raid!

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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 09:50 - Apr 12 with 4212 viewsShaky

Background:

A Playboy Model, and a System for Concealing Infidelity
One woman’s account of clandestine meetings, financial transactions, and legal pacts designed to hide an extramarital affair.

By Ronan Farrow

New Yorker, February 16, 2018

Full story: https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/donald-trump-a-playboy-model-and-a-syst

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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 10:33 - Apr 12 with 4201 viewsShaky

If anyone is still following along, they might be inclined to take the view that all these sexual dalliances were insufficient grounds for the Feds to take such drastic action raiding Cohen's office.

Even though a systematic pattern to these cover up is emerging, that is the view of my US lawyer mate who at the end of the day regards these as relatively minor campaign finance violations regardless of the fact they could easily amount to serious money in total, and far exceed the limits on individuals' campaign donations

Perhaps.

But an interesting angle has emerged; on the same day the 'grab em by the pussy' Access Hollywood tape recordings surfaced, within 30 minutes or so Wikileaks started releasing the hacked DNC emails.

If that release was planed with the Trump campaign to muddy the water, then that would be clear collusion with the Russians and Trump is dead in the water.

This remains a speculative theory, but is certainly one that fits the facts as currently known.

Stay tuned.

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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 12:21 - Apr 14 with 4131 viewsShaky

Bombshell:

Sources: Mueller has evidence Cohen was in Prague in 2016, confirming part of dossier
By Peter Stone And Greg Gordon

McClatchy, April 13, 2018
WASHINGTON

The Justice Department special counsel has evidence that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant, Michael Cohen, secretly made a late-summer trip to Prague during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Confirmation of the trip would lend credence to a retired British spy’s report that Cohen strategized there with a powerful Kremlin figure about Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

It would also be one of the most significant developments thus far in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of whether the Trump campaign and the Kremlin worked together to help Trump win the White House. Undercutting Trump’s repeated pronouncements that “there is no evidence of collusion,” it also could ratchet up the stakes if the president tries, as he has intimated he might for months, to order Mueller’s firing.

Trump’s threats to fire Mueller or the deputy attorney general overseeing the investigation, Rod Rosenstein, grew louder this week when the FBI raided Cohen’s home, hotel room and office on Monday. The raid was unrelated to the Trump-Russia collusion probe, but instead focused on payments made to women who have said they had sexual relationships with Trump.

Cohen has vehemently denied for months that he ever has been in Prague or colluded with Russia during the campaign. Neither he nor his lawyer responded to requests for comment for this story.

Full story: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article208558924

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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 17:16 - Apr 16 with 4038 viewsShaky

They're off and running in the Michael Cohen pre-trial hearing and it is all that could have been hoped for; sheer farce.

A federal judge had ordered Team Cohen to supply a list of clients by 10am eastern today making it clear that though client-attorney privilege should be ensured the names of clients would not be protected.

Cohen's lawyer refused to do so, no doubt because his legal practice consists largely of the specialisation of negotiating and brokering hush money payments for sexual misconduct.

To make matters even more spicy there is now a story I am trying to corroborate that one of Cohen's other clients is Don Jr in what could be a very cruel - but hilarious - smear!

See:
Cohen defies court order, refuses to release names of his clients; A dangerous game.
By Judd Legum

https://thinkprogress.org/cohen-defies-court-order-refuses-to-release-names-of-h

Twitter thread with highlights:


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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 18:16 - Apr 16 with 4010 viewsShaky


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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 19:42 - Apr 16 with 3964 viewsShaky

Twitter thread:


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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 19:51 - Apr 16 with 3959 viewsShaky


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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 20:01 - Apr 16 with 3950 viewsShaky

Mixing business with pleasure:


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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 20:02 - Apr 16 with 3949 viewsShaky


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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 20:14 - Apr 16 with 3942 viewsDJack

Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 20:02 - Apr 16 by Shaky



potential dumpster fire

It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. - Carl Sagan

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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 20:21 - Apr 16 with 3941 viewsShaky


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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 17:07 - Apr 17 with 3875 viewsShaky


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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 21:43 - Apr 20 with 3800 viewsGowerjack


Plastic since 1974
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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 09:50 - Apr 21 with 3747 viewsShaky

Trump's legal team bracing for Cohen to cooperate with federal investigation: report
By Max Greenwood

The Hill, April 20, 2018 - 03:24 PM EDT

President Trump's legal team is bracing for the possibility that Michael Cohen could flip on the president and cooperate with prosecutors, according to a New York Times report.

Cohen, a longtime personal attorney and fixer for Trump, has repeatedly pledged his loyalty to the president, insisting that he would go to any length to protect his former boss.

But now, as details of a months-long criminal probe into Cohen's work emerge, Trump's lawyers and advisers have come to terms with the idea that Cohen could ultimately cooperate with investigators.

Sam Nunberg, a former aide to President Trump's campaign, told the Times that such a prospect puts Cohen in an unusual position of leverage over the president.

"Ironically, Michael now holds the leverage over Trump," Nunberg said, noting that Cohen "should maximize that leverage."

The probe into Cohen came to light last week after the FBI raided the attorney's home and office. Days later, federal prosecutors revealed that Cohen had been under investigation for months. That probe could involve work that Cohen performed for Trump, the Times reported.

Trump has reportedly been warned about the possibility of Cohen turning on him. Jay Goldberg, a former personal lawyer for Trump, told The Wall Street Journal that he warned the president last week that Cohen is not at loyal as he has let on.

Goldberg said he told Trump that on a scale of 1 to 100, where 100 represents the full protection of the president, Cohen "isn't even a 1."

Lawyer Alan Dershowitz, a frequent news commentator, also warned on Thursday that Trump should prepare for his closest associates - including Cohen - to turn on him.

"I think the president has to assume that his closest friends, his greatest associates, the people he trusts the most, if exposed to the risk of life imprisonment, will flip," Dershowitz said on CNN. "That has to be his working assumption."

thehill.com/homenews/administration/384180-trumps-legal-team-bracing-for-cohen-to-cooperate-with-federal?

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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 15:10 - Apr 21 with 3706 viewssotonswan

Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 10:33 - Apr 12 by Shaky

If anyone is still following along, they might be inclined to take the view that all these sexual dalliances were insufficient grounds for the Feds to take such drastic action raiding Cohen's office.

Even though a systematic pattern to these cover up is emerging, that is the view of my US lawyer mate who at the end of the day regards these as relatively minor campaign finance violations regardless of the fact they could easily amount to serious money in total, and far exceed the limits on individuals' campaign donations

Perhaps.

But an interesting angle has emerged; on the same day the 'grab em by the pussy' Access Hollywood tape recordings surfaced, within 30 minutes or so Wikileaks started releasing the hacked DNC emails.

If that release was planed with the Trump campaign to muddy the water, then that would be clear collusion with the Russians and Trump is dead in the water.

This remains a speculative theory, but is certainly one that fits the facts as currently known.

Stay tuned.


>> But an interesting angle has emerged; on the same day the 'grab em by the pussy' Access Hollywood tape recordings surfaced, within 30 minutes or so Wikileaks started releasing the *hacked* DNC emails.

>> If that release was planed with the Trump campaign to muddy the water, then that would be *clear collusion with the Russians* and Trump is dead in the water.



Not "hacked". Leaked.
Former British Ambassador Craig Murray claimed he was the courier of the emails from a DNC staffer (Seth Rich) to Julian Assange.
So no Russian coinnection.

SR 1400 – “I Was the WikiLeaks Contact for DNC Emails – Not Russia”


What was in those emails again?
Discussions of pizza, pasta, walnut sauce (paedophile slang) in the most incongruous of contexts......

Looking forward to the DNCs re-launched court case against the Trump campaign. Cards on table time.

We are the NORTH BANK POPULAR FRONT ! (in no way affiliated to those splitters the North Bank Alliance.) WWG1WGA

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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 20:48 - Apr 21 with 3675 viewsShaky

Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 15:10 - Apr 21 by sotonswan

>> But an interesting angle has emerged; on the same day the 'grab em by the pussy' Access Hollywood tape recordings surfaced, within 30 minutes or so Wikileaks started releasing the *hacked* DNC emails.

>> If that release was planed with the Trump campaign to muddy the water, then that would be *clear collusion with the Russians* and Trump is dead in the water.



Not "hacked". Leaked.
Former British Ambassador Craig Murray claimed he was the courier of the emails from a DNC staffer (Seth Rich) to Julian Assange.
So no Russian coinnection.

SR 1400 – “I Was the WikiLeaks Contact for DNC Emails – Not Russia”


What was in those emails again?
Discussions of pizza, pasta, walnut sauce (paedophile slang) in the most incongruous of contexts......

Looking forward to the DNCs re-launched court case against the Trump campaign. Cards on table time.


You need to keep up with the real news, mate, not that conspiracy stuff.

Last month the Daily Beast broke the story that Guciffer 2.0 fcuked up and has now been positively identified as an officer in Russian military Intelligence, the GRU. It's just like Homeland except fer real!

See:
‘Lone DNC Hacker’ Revealed as Russian Intelligence Officer
By Spencer Ackerman, Kevin Poulsen

Daily Beast, 03.22.18 7:00 PM ET

https://www.thedailybeast.com/exclusive-lone-dnc-hacker-guccifer-20-slipped-up-a

BTW on the topic of conspiracies, sex scandals and the Daily Mail, I potentially have one for you:

Did you know the story about Anthony Weiner having sexted with a minor was broken by the Daily Mail? Which led to the FBI reopening the Hillary email investigation and quite likely to her losing the election.

Outside of their showbiz, celeb and Sports departments, the Daily Mail distinguishes itself by their reputation as largely plagiarising real news stories from other sources.

They have no journalistic resources to speak of, so how did they get a world exclusive on that story from somewhere in the mid-west when the family categorically denied having spoken to them?

The answer obviously is that that somebody tipped them off. And that somebody must have had access to the product of sophisticated electronic eavesdropping and intelligence gathering resources.

NSA? SVR? GCHQ? Some fraction within the FBI?

Impossible to say, but somebody clearly had a bright idea how to create a spot of bother for the Clinton campaign. Didn't they do well?

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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 11:57 - Apr 22 with 3623 viewsA_Fans_Dad

"You need to keep up with the real news, mate, not that conspiracy stuff. "

ROFL.
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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 20:45 - Apr 24 with 3549 viewsShaky

Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 11:57 - Apr 22 by A_Fans_Dad

"You need to keep up with the real news, mate, not that conspiracy stuff. "

ROFL.


As I was saying:

TV’s ‘Homeland’ feels challenge of competing with real world
By DEB RIECHMANN

Associated Press, April 24, 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of the cast of TV’s “Homeland” call it “spy camp.” It’s when they travel to Washington to pick the brains of top U.S. intelligence officials.

And it’s where Hollywood meets real-world intelligence and both sides realize that not everything is as it seems. The two worlds blur and it’s hard to tell where today’s national security and political events stop and the fictional drama begins.

Full story: https://apnews.com/55a3798bc0734d4db79b93fd896521e6

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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 13:16 - Apr 25 with 3508 viewsHighjack

Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 11:57 - Apr 22 by A_Fans_Dad

"You need to keep up with the real news, mate, not that conspiracy stuff. "

ROFL.


Real news like in “The daily beast”

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 15:07 - Apr 26 with 3457 viewsShaky

Michael Cohen Says He Will Take The Fifth In Stormy Daniels Suit
Mary Altaffer/AP

NPR, April 26, 20184:47 AM ET

President Trump's longtime attorney, Michael Cohen, will invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in a civil lawsuit brought by adult entertainer Stormy Daniels — a move that would prevent him revealing anything that could be used later by federal prosecutors.

"Based on the advice of counsel, I will assert my 5th Amendment rights in connection with all proceedings in this case due to the ongoing criminal investigation by the FBI and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York," Cohen wrote in the filing in Los Angeles federal court.

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution spells out the right of individuals not to be compelled to testify against themselves.

The civil suit brought by Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, names Cohen as a defendant. Daniels, who says she had an affair with Donald Trump a decade ago, signed a confidentiality agreement with Cohen days before the 2016 election in exchange for $130,000 — money that Cohen says he paid out with an equity loan on his house.

She is seeking to void the contract.

Since the questions are likely to overlap in the civil suit and any criminal case brought in connection with the contract, taking the Fifth would save Cohen from revealing anything in the Daniels case that could be used later in the criminal probe.

Earlier this month, the FBI raided Cohen's office, home and a hotel room in connection with its criminal probe.

"Talking, when you're the subject of an investigation, when they are thinking that this contract was a federal crime ... is incredibly reckless," Ken White, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, tells NPR.

"The only sensible thing to do is shut up and not make it worse," he says.

Cohen's lawyers have asked for the case to be put on hold for 90 days, which could give Cohen and his legal team an opportunity to see the direction the FBI is moving.

Ultimately, however, the move could help Stormy Daniels in her suit, according to Renaldo Mariotti, a Chicago-based attorney and former federal prosecutor.

"[The] judge or jury could draw what is called and 'adverse inference.' In other words, they could conclude that the answers to the questions that he's taking the Fifth on would have hurt him," Mariotti tells NPR.

Taking the Fifth is a basic constitutional right, but even so, many people believe it implies guilt. During the campaign, then-candidate Trump compared Hillary Clinton staffers pleading the Fifth in the email investigation to mobsters.

At a campaign rally he said: "The mob takes the Fifth. If you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?"

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/26/605948086/michael-cohen-says-

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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 20:48 - Apr 26 with 3383 viewsShaky

Attorney Michael Avenatti hints $1.6 million abortion payout was for Trump — not GOP donor
By Travis Gettys

Raw Story, 26 Apr 2018 at 09:27 ET

The lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels suggested that a $1.6 million hush money payoff to a Playboy model was actually made on behalf of President Donald Trump — and not a Republican donor.

Attorney Michael Avenatti appeared Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where he gave a wide-ranging interview on the lawsuit against the president and a related criminal investigation of Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen — and he said reporting on the case had missed an important detail.

“So, Mika, you are familiar with the fact that a week ago, Judge (Kimba) Wood ordered Michael Cohen’s attorneys to disclose all of his clients for the last three years,” Avenatti said, “and there were three clients listed — three clients listed. Do you recall which three?”

Brzezinski listed Trump, Fox News host Sean Hannity and Republican donor Elliott Broidy — but Avenatti said she was making the same mistake everyone else had.

“No, no, no,” he said. “Mr. Trump, the Trump organization and Sean Hannity. Mr. Broidy was not disclosed in open court as one of Michael Cohen’s clients.”

Co-host Joe Scarborough asked the attorney what that meant.

“I think at some point we are going to find out, if in fact, the client in connection with the ($1.6 million) settlement was, in fact, Mr. Broidy. I’m going to leave it at that.”

Avenatti wouldn’t say it, but the implication seems clear.

Cohen negotiated a $1.6 million hush money payment to a Playboy model who became pregnant during an affair and then had an abortion.

News reports had identified Broidy as the client who agreed to pay the woman in installments over two years if she agreed to remain silent about the relationship — but Avenatti said Cohen’s lawyers ruled him out in open court.

That would leave Trump, or possibly Hannity, as the likely clients who arranged the payment.

Broidy resigned earlier this month as deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee after the payments were reported.

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/04/attorney-michael-avenatti-hints-1-6-million-abo

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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 14:44 - May 2 with 3261 viewsShaky

Better Call Cohen: The Shady Cases of a Trump Lawyer's Personal Injury Practice
The president's personal attorney represented multiple clients in New York who allegedly staged car crashes to cheat insurance companies
By Seth Hettena

Rolling Stone, May 1, 2018

A few years before he started working for Donald Trump, and long before he gave legal advice to people like Fox News personality Sean Hannity, Michael D. Cohen had a different kind of clientele. Cohen roamed the courthouses of New York City, filing lawsuits on behalf of people with little means who were seeking compensation for the injuries they suffered in car collisions. Many personal-injury lawyers make their living this way, but there was something striking about Cohen's cases: Some of the crashes at issue didn't appear to be accidents at all.

A Rolling Stone investigation found that Cohen represented numerous clients who were involved in deliberate, planned car crashes as part of an attempt to cheat insurance companies. Furthermore, investigations by insurers showed that several of Cohen's clients were affiliated with insurance fraud rings that repeatedly staged "accidents." And at least one person Cohen represented was indicted on criminal charges of insurance fraud while the lawsuit he had filed on her behalf was pending. Cohen also did legal work for a medical clinic whose principal was a doctor later convicted of insurance fraud for filing phony medical claims on purported "accident" victims. Taken together, a picture emerges that the personal attorney to the president of the United States was connected to a shadowy underworld of New York insurance fraud, a pervasive problem dominated by Russian organized crime that was costing the state's drivers an estimated $1 billion a year.

Full story: https://www.rollingstone.com/shady-cases-michael-cohen-personal-injury-practice-

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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 19:02 - May 2 with 3221 viewsShaky

Another one bites the dust:
++++++++++++++++++
White House lawyer Ty Cobb says he is retiring at end of the month
By Jonathan Karl, Rick Klein, Katherine Faulders

ABC, May 2, 2018, 12:57 PM ET

White House lawyer Ty Cobb told ABC News on Wednesday he is set to retire from the White House as special counsel serving as part of the internal legal team managing matters related to the ongoing Russia investigation.

Cobb was hired in July and plans to depart at the end of the month. The president plans to hire Emmet Flood to take his place, who advised Clinton during his impeachment.

“For several weeks Ty Cobb has been discussing his retirement and last week he let Chief of Staff Kelly know he would retire at the end of this month," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

Earlier on Wednesday, Cobb told ABC News during an exclusive interview that a presidential interview with special counsel Robert Mueller has not been ruled out.

"It's certainly not off the table and people are working hard to make decisions and work towards an interview," Cobb told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl and Political Director Rick Klein on ABC's "Powerhouse Politics" podcast.

"And assuming that can be concluded favorably, there'll be an interview,” he said. “Assuming it can't be… assuming an agreement can't be reached, you know then it'll go a different route.

The interview comes after ABC News confirmed that the president's legal team created a list of 49 questions based on the ongoing negotiations with Mueller's team.

The questions are centered around areas believed to be what the special counsel would like to ask the president about. The story was first reported by the New York Times.

Cobb says he has "no doubt" special counsel Mueller didn't leak the list of questions for President Trump.

It was during a press conference in the Rose Garden last year that President Donald Trump said he would "100%" be willing to speak with Mueller under oath. Later, the president reiterated his willingness to speak, telling ABC News’ Jonathan Karl in January "I would love to do that...I 'd like to do it as soon as possible."

“You know I think things are still in a lane, working toward a resolution of the interview issue,” he said.

Despite the president's escalating attacks on Mueller, Cobb was respectful of the special counsel's process.

"In my view, Mueller is doing you know what he was assigned to do. I mean he didn't he didn't start the investigation. He got pulled in by Rosenstein," Cobb said referring to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who is supervising the special counsel investigation after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the case.

Cobb added that it's still "an open question" as to whether a special counsel can compel a president to testify.

Mueller told Trump's legal team directly he could "compel" the president to testify via a grand jury subpoena if Trump declined a potential request for an interview, according to a source familiar with the conversation.

Sources told ABC News last month that in the wake of an early morning FBI raid on his personal attorney, Trump, and his legal team say the president is "less inclined" to sit down for an interview with Mueller.

This is a developing story. Please refresh for details.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/exclusive-ty-cobb-special-counsel-interview-trump

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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 22:15 - May 2 with 3191 viewsStormyD

Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 12:44 - Apr 10 by londonlisa2001

I understand why they covered it up before the election, but it's the continued efforts I find odd. They are still attempting to shut her up.

And actually, I misdescribed her as a prositute - I meant porn star. Apologies to her. Not that she's reading planetswans I imagine...


Hi.
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Breaking News: FBI Raid Trump's Lawyer on 19:10 - May 3 with 3114 viewsShaky

Feds tapped Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's phones
At least one phone call between a phone line associated with Cohen and the White House was intercepted, a source said.
by Tom Winter and Julia Ainsley /

NBC, May.03.2018 / 4:59 PM ET

Federal investigators have wiretapped the phone lines of Michael Cohen, the longtime personal lawyer for President Donald Trump who is under investigation for a payment he made to an adult film star who alleged she had an affair with Trump, according to two people with knowledge of the legal proceedings involving Cohen.

It is not clear how long the wiretap has been authorized, but NBC News has learned it was in place in the weeks leading up to the raids on Cohen's offices, hotel room, and home in early April, according to one person with direct knowledge.

At least one phone call between a phone line associated with Cohen and the White House was intercepted, the person said.

Previously, federal prosecutors in New York have said in court filings that they have conducted covert searches on multiple e-mail accounts maintained by Cohen.

Spokespeople for the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI in New York declined comment.

After the raid, members of Trump's legal team advised the president not to speak to Cohen, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

Two sources close to Trump's newest attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, say he learned that days after the raid the president had made a call to Cohen, and told Trump never to call again out of concern the call was being recorded by prosecutors.

Giuliani told Fox News Wednesday night that Trump repaid Cohen the $130,000 he used to keep the adult film star, Stormy Daniels, from going public with allegations about her affair with Trump.

Giuliani is also described as having warned Trump that Cohen is likely to flip on him, something Trump pushed back on, telling Giuliani that he has known Cohen for years and expects him to be loyal, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the conversations.

Giuliani and a lawyer for Cohen, Steve Ryan, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The White House referred NBC News to outside counsel.

It is unclear what incriminating information Cohen could give prosecutors on Trump, if he chose to cooperate. He represented Trump and the Trump Organization in its business dealings for nearly two decades before Trump became president. Special counsel Robert Mueller is interested in any information that federal investigators in New York may pick up that would be relevant to his investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Cohen has previously said publicly that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights if subpoenaed to avoid incriminating himself before a grand jury and there is no indication from public filings that Cohen is cooperating in the probe.

The Cohen investigation is being led by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan and the FBI. Investigators are looking into the $130,000 transaction between Cohen and adult film star Stormy Daniels, also known as Stephanie Clifford, who allegedly had an affair with Trump more than a decade ago, and a reported payment of $150,000 from American Media Inc., publishers of the National Enquirer, to a second woman who allegedly had an affair with Trump, Playboy model Karen McDougal.

The White House has denied allegations of the affairs.

Investigators are also seeking information about the 2005"Access Hollywood" tape in which Donald Trump was heard making vulgar boasts about women.

The bureau's interest in the "Access Hollywood" tape, on which Trump bragged to host Billy Bush that he would grab women "by the p---y," was first reported by the New York Times. "Access Hollywood" is an NBC Universal television program.

Material seized from Cohen's office, hotel room and home included taped conversations, as well as cellphones and hard drives.

Cohen has asserted in court that much of the material gleaned in the raids should be protected from the eyes of prosecutors under attorney-client privilege.

Former U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg, now an NBC News analyst, says there's a high bar for having a wiretap approved."The affidavits are typically highly detailed and carefully vetted by experienced lawyers," he said. "In all cases the wiretap must be approved by a federal judge."

Rosenberg said that wiretaps are usually approved for an investigation into a current crime and not solely for possible crimes that have been committed in the past.

"This is an exacting process where the government must demonstrate to a federal judge that there is an ongoing crime."

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/feds-tapped-trump-lawyer-michael-c

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