Federal Bureau of Investigation sought 'Access Hollywood' tape records in Trump lawyer raids



Michael Cohen's office, residence and hotel room were raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the officials, among other items, seeking records pertaining to the tape, The New York Times reported Wednesday, but exactly what the officials were looking for was unclear.

According to the Times, which cited three sources briefed on the contents of the federal search warrant, the FBI also sought evidence of whether Cohen attempted to suppress damaging information about Trump during the 2016 campaign.

CNN reported that the warrant also sought records regarding Cohen's deal with adult film star Stormy Daniels, another woman who alleges a past affair with Trump, to keep her story quiet.

McDougal, a former Playmate, was paid $150,000 in the summer of 2016 by the parent company of the National Enquirer under an agreement that gave it the exclusive rights to her story and would penalize her for speaking publicly about the affair. Both women said they had consensual relationships long before Trump was elected president.

Cohen is also being investigated for bank fraud and improper campaign donations.

The warrant also covered emails and other documents that could reveal Cohen's private communications with Trump during a tense period in the presidential campaign.

Trump has long expressed frustration toward the Russian Federation investigation and top law enforcement officials and reportedly believes they are not doing enough to shield him from Mueller.

But this may not really be about Trump at all.

The Cohen raid was overseen by the US Attorney's office for the Southern District of NY, which was acting on a referral from the special counsel Robert Mueller after he likely uncovered evidence of potential wrongdoing related to Cohen that fell outside his purview, The Times reported earlier this week. Trump could be in legal trouble if he in any way coordinated or had knowledge of the Daniels payment, which Cohen admitted to issuing earlier this year. Cohen owns at least 32 medallions and has failed to pay the mandatory dues on them in several cases, according to state Department of Taxation and Finance records.

On Wednesday, Cohen told ABC News: "I just want my stuff back". Cohen's attorney has said the search was carried out on behalf of the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan in part because of a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller. He expounded on the raid on Wednesday morning, arguing that accomplishments by the Trump administration were ongoing despite "fake news".

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