The Republican is a former law partner of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was one of Trump's big backers.
The search requests for records related to the payment to Daniels cited investigators' interest in possible violations of election law, according to one person familiar with the investigators' work.
MARIOTTI: And that is unusual in that there are special rules that the Justice Department has for those search warrants. So.
Using the metaphor of putting a final nail in Cohen's legal coffin, he says, "That had better be a really sturdy pine box". Cohen has been Trump's personal lawyer and confidant for years, helping him on real estate and personal matters, as well as informally advising him since he became president.
McDougal has said she carried on an affair with Trump in 2006 after the birth of his son. He is maintaining his innocence.
Cohen's lawyer, Stephen M. Ryan, said on Monday prosecutors seized communications between Cohen and his clients based in part on a referral by Mueller. Instead, FBI agents working for the United States attorney's office for the Southern District of NY carried out the operation after apparently getting a referral from Mueller.
Prosecutors would have to prove that Cohen gave Daniels the money to try to influence the outcome of the election, rather than for personal reasons. Approval of a search warrant suggests prosecutors were able to demonstrate not only the gravity of the potential case but also the risk that evidence might be destroyed or otherwise go missing if they pursued a less aggressive option. The raid on Monday came by way of a tip from special counsel Robert Mueller.
When asked at a military leadership meeting whether he would fire Mueller, Trump responded: "We'll see what happens".
The Times reported that agents were looking for records of payments to ex-Playmate Karen McDougal and also information related to the publisher of The National Enquirer. "If I were a prosecutor hearing both the lawyer and the client say the client had no awareness whatsoever of that, I would now feel very confident going to a judge to seek that material". "He should be allowed to finish the job he was assigned".
The unusual step of searching the office was partly instigated by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading an inquiry into allegations that Mr Trump's team colluded with Russian Federation to help him win the election.More news: Syria Invites Chemical Arms Watchdog to Probe Alleged Attack
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Cohen, someone extremely close to Trump and who has been known as the president's "fixer", appears to have serious legal problems.
While Republican senators, conscious of their delicate political position, are loath to back legislative efforts to shield Mueller, they don't want him gone. "The less the president said on this whole thing, the better off he would be, the stronger his presidency would be".
Trump is fuming after federal agents raised his personal attorney's office in NY. Mueller is most conflicted of all (except Rosenstein who signed FISA & Comey letter).
An attorney for Michael Cohen filed court papers in Los Angeles late Monday asking to dismiss Stormy Daniels' claim as a frivolous lawsuit. The White House has consistently said Trump denies the affair.
He also argues she hasn't suffered any damages and that his statements were an opinion and "rhetorical hyperbole" under the law.
On Monday, the president said that he had heard that the Federal Bureau of Investigation "broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys". "It's an attack on our country in a true sense; it's an attack on what we all stand for".
Among them: Trump's comments to reporters last week, denying knowledge of the Daniels payment or the source of the hush money. But the raid was prompted, at least in part, by evidence or allegations uncovered by Mueller's team. Even though the investigation into Cohen is not being overseen by Mueller, sources tell CBS News the president is angry about the raids and less inclined to agree to an interview at this time.