When the FBI kicked down the door to Donald Trump’s personal attorney’s office, very few people knew what they wanted. The president and his attorney, Michael Cohen, had a good idea of what they had. The public has just begun to find out.
The federal prosecutors have asked the president’s umbrella company, Trump Organization, for information about a payment to the adult entertainment actress and director, Stephanie Clifford, according to The Wall Street Journal. Her stage name is Stormy Daniels.
Clifford alleged that she met the president at a golf tournament, and he invited her to his room for dinner. During that dinner, he showed her a copy of Forbes magazine featuring Trump on the cover. After some back-and-forth banter, she took the magazine, told him to drop his pants, and spanked him with it.
Their sexual encounter came months after the Trump’s youngest son was born. It allegedly overlapped a period where the president was having a nearly year-long affair with a Playboy model.
One month before the 2016 presidential election, Cohen offered the actress $130,000 to remain quiet about her sexual encounter with Donald Trump. The president’s personal attorney insisted that he paid for the hush system himself.
In addition, Cohen claimed that Trump had no knowledge of the transaction. Federal prosecutors may not agree with him, because attorneys are not likely to cough up their own funds. However, Cohen has said that he would be willing to take a bullet for his boss.
That makes it relatively unlikely the federal prosecutor will be able to flip the attorney. Of course, the number of years he could face for alleged crimes might change his mind.
When the FBI raided Cohen’s office, they were looking for tax documents, emails, and all other records related to the Clifford payout. The attorney’s attorney, Stephen Ryan, released a statement that read Special Counsel Robert Mueller referred the federal prosecutors “in part:”
‘Today the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York executed a series of search warrants and seized the privileged communications between my client, Michael Cohen, and his clients. I have been advised by federal prosecutors that the New York action is, in part, a referral by the Office of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.’
In addition, Ryan called the warrant a pass for “unnecessary seizure” of protected communications:
‘The decision by the US Attorney’s Office in New York to conduct their investigation using search warrants is completely inappropriate and unnecessary. It resulted in the unnecessary seizure of protected attorney client communications between a lawyer and his clients. These government tactics are also wrong because Mr. Cohen has cooperated completely with all government entities, including providing thousands of non-privileged documents to the Congress and sitting for depositions under oath.’
A spokesperson for the Trump Organization released a statement that read the company would “comply:”
‘We do not generally comment on such matters, but have and will continue to comply with inquiries from proper authorities.’
All the information will go through a separate team of attorneys, whose job it is to sort it. Then, they will give the prosecutors only the narrowly-selected material specified on the warrant.
The beginning of Trump’s meeting with his generals and advisers about how to handle the poisonous gas attack on Syria’s citizens by its government was televised Trump. He called the FBI raid on Cohen an “attack on our country.” He also speculated about firing Mueller.
‘We’ll see what happens. … Many people have said ‘you should fire him. Again, they found nothing and in finding nothing, that’s a big statement.’
Featured Image via Getty Images/Gregg DeGuire.