Published: Thu, April 12, 2018

Records related to 'Access Hollywood' tape a focus of FBI Cohen raid

Records related to 'Access Hollywood' tape a focus of FBI Cohen raid

President Trump's longtime attorney Michael Cohen went for an upscale Midtown lunch Wednesday, as it was revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents who raided his office and hotel room earlier this week sought records relating to Trump's infamous "Access Hollywood" tape.

Investigators who raided the office of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, were reportedly searching for records related to the 2005 "Access Hollywood" tape that briefly crippled the Trump campaign in 2016, The New York Times reports.

The FBI was also seeking potential evidence of Cohen attempting to "suppress" any information about the president prior to the 2016 election, according to The Times.

The agents reportedly were looking for files relating to ongoing questions about Trump's relationship with porn star Stormy Daniels and why Cohen apparently paid her $130,000 to keep silent about an alleged affair. The second woman, former Playboy Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal, says she was paid $150,000 by the parent company of the National Enquirer.

"When you're a star, they let you do it", Trump says in the video, speaking to "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush. The tape jolted the campaign and forced the Republican nominee to apologize in a publicly televised message from Trump Tower. This news seems to support critics who believe that Special Counsel Robert Mueller - who reportedly referred the raid in part to the Southern District of NY - is really pushing his limits here, despite his claims to the contrary.

"It's a real disgrace", Mr. Trump said.

Stephen Ryan, an attorney for Cohen, has called the Monday raids "inappropriate and unnecessary", saying Cohen has cooperated completely with all government entities investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Between the Steele dossier, and a raid on Trump's lawyer in pursuit of Stormy Daniels and Access Hollywood tape info, the Federal Bureau of Investigation really is in the opposition research business.

As the president's right-hand man, Cohen also has intimate knowledge of some of Trump's most closely guarded secrets related to his personal conduct and financial dealings.

On Wednesday, Cohen told ABC News: "I just want my stuff back".

Federal prosecutors, at the referral of special counsel Robert Mueller's office, executed the raid in NY on Monday. He expounded on the raid on Wednesday morning, arguing that accomplishments by the Trump administration were ongoing despite "fake news".

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