The reason, at least partly, for an early Monday morning raid by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the office and residence of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, may have more to do with Trump’s personal indiscretions than international intrigue.
A search warrant obtained by the New York Federal Prosecutors office, based on information of potential criminal activity passed on to them from the Special Counsel’s office, and signed by a federal judge relates, in part, to payments made to two women.
The first woman, Stephanie Clifford, aka adult film star Stormy Daniels, previously disclosed receiving $130,000 from the president’s personal lawyer. Clifford is currently taking legal action against Trump and Cohen.
Cohen admits to paying Clifford $130,000 as part of a nondisclosure agreement, securing her silence shortly before the 2016 presidential election.
The second woman is Karen McDougal who says she engaged in an almost year long affair with the then married Trump. The affair reportedly began around the same time as the president’s liaison with Clifford, shortly after the birth of his third son in 2006.
McDougal, a model, claims the National Enquirer, whose chief executive, David Pecker, is a close Trump friend, paid her to remain silent about the affair. Her payment of $150,000 came from American Media Incorporated, the National Enquirer’s parent company.
“They took everything.” FBI agents looking into payments to porn star Stormy Daniels seized Michael Cohen’s phones, computers, office records, personal financial information. @realDonaldTrump s lawyer in the crosshairs https://t.co/NWZro9Ifgv
— Carol Leonnig (@CarolLeonnig) April 9, 2018
Remember, folks, this search had to be approved thru DOJ’s highest levels AND by a federal judge. Given Trump’s, Cohen’s & Schwartz’s statements about the Daniels NDA specifically, & the wealth of public info about Cohen being Trump’s fixer, there would be ample probable cause. https://t.co/xLPHwYj7lq
— Elizabeth de la Vega (@Delavegalaw) April 9, 2018
According to several sources, federal prosecutors are looking for records about the payments and about the publisher of The National Enquirer’s role in silencing one of the women. The search warrant was carried out by the public corruption unit of the Manhattan federal attorney’s office.