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Trump called attorney Michael Cohen on Friday

15 April 2018

The raid on Cohen, Trump's longtime personal attorney and fixer, has rattled the president; any investigation into Cohen pulls the FBI directly into Trump's inner circle.

Among the documents seized during an Federal Bureau of Investigation raid targeting President Donald Trump's personal attorney are recordings of conversations Michael Cohen had with the former lawyer to two women who claim to have had affairs with Trump, according to a CNN report.

On Monday, FBI agents raided Cohen's office, home and hotel room in NY, seeking evidence related to his payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

After hearing the matter Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood said she did not have enough information to issue any ruling on that request. First, prosecutors revealed in court documents that the raiding of Cohen's home and office on Tuesday was spurred by a criminal investigation over his business dealings that has been going on for months, completely separate from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe. Sources told ABC News that investigators were also searching for records of any discussions Cohen held about the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape released in October 2016 in which Trump can be heard bragging to host Billy Bush in 2005 that "when you're a star" women let men "do anything", including "grab them by the p--". Officials redacted a section in the document explaining why they thought they could not trust Cohen to turn over records willingly.

The Friday motion said that because of that overlap, "Mr Cohen's Fifth Amendment rights may be adversely impacted if this case proceeds", a reference to the possibility that his testimony could be used by prosecutors to build a related criminal case against him.

"[Reviews of the records] indicate that Cohen is in fact performing little to no legal work, and that zero e-mails were exchanged with President Trump", according to the brief, filed in Manhattan federal court.

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"His attorney-client privilege is no stronger than any other person who seeks legal advice", McCay said.

And he's barely doing any "legal work" for Trump, either, they claim.

Prosecutors emphasized that their investigation was focused on Cohen's business dealings, not his work as a lawyer.

The already complex legal battle could soon see another layer of litigation, as former Clifford attorney Keith Davidson has threatened to sue following reports that Cohen recorded their phone conversations without his knowledge.

More importantly, among the things the F.B.I. and the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan sought in the raids were information on the origins of a $130,000 payment to Daniels.

"This has clearly been a delay tactic from the outset", said Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas McKay. In a footnote in its filing, the prosecutors expressed doubt that any communications between Trump and Cohen regarding a payoff to Daniels before the election would be covered under attorney-client privilege.

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Stephanie Clifford's lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said it's "very possible" that the porn actress would show up at Monday's hearing on the FBI's raid on President Donald Trump's personal lawyer's home and office. Her impatience at their failure to do so was palpable by late afternoon. Cohen reportedly said he "would rather jump out of a building" than testify against Trump.

"We have not spoken since that time", Mr Broidy said in the statement.

However, the source said the President is now angry, "flailing and upset".

She added that she was anxious about the "appearance of fairness", given the stakes.

UPDATE: Cohen's Friday somehow took a turn for the even worse in the early evening.

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Trump called attorney Michael Cohen on Friday