Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump lawyer Cohen seeks delay in porn star's lawsuit

Trump lawyer Cohen seeks delay in porn star's lawsuit

Federal investigators on Friday confirmed in a new court filing that Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, is the subject of a criminal investigation.

Michael Cohen, whose home and office were raided this week by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents searching in part for information about pay-offs to women alleging sexual encounters with Trump, handled the matter on behalf of the fundraiser, Elliott Broidy, the person said.

US District Judge Kimba Wood ordered Mr Cohen to appear in court tomorrow afternoon after holding three hearings on Friday into his request for a temporary restraining order blocking prosecutors from reviewing seized materials. The encounter came after news broke that Cohen, President Trump's embattled fixer, paid off Avenatti's client, Stormy Daniels, to keep her quiet about her alleged affair with Trump.

In the filing with a court in NY, prosecutors blacked out a section describing what laws they believe Cohen has broken, but they said the "crimes being investigated involve acts of concealment" and suspected fraud. Prosecutors agreed to suspend their review until a follow-up court hearing is held on Monday. 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. Prosecutors said the move is meant to ensure no documents are improperly used or breach client confidentiality.

They were seeking information on a US$130,000 payment made by Cohen just before the 2016 election to porn star Stormy Daniels, who has said she had sex with Trump in 2006, a person familiar with the matter said.

Prosecutors said they took the unusual step of raiding Cohen's residence and home, rather than requesting records by subpoena, because what they had learned so far led them to distrust he'd turn over what they had asked for.

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The post restaurant is frequented by NY power players, but this was a moment when worlds collided, as Cohen is locked in a contentious legal, and media battle with Avenatti.

But Cohen has presented no evidence that he was in Los Angeles at the time in question, and his claim that he's "never been to Prague" directly contradicts his previous public statements.

Mr. Steele's paymaster was Fusion GPS, which tried to use the dossier to destroy the Trump candidacy.

Earlier Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to say whether Cohen was still Trump's personal attorney.

The revelation comes amid a courtroom drama that unfolded Friday, as Cohen's attorneys and Trump's attorneys began a fight hours before with the US Attorney's Office in Manhattan over a massive raid of Cohen's records.

Avenatti on Saturday called Cohen "radioactive" and said that anybody who has had contact with him "should be very, very nervous".

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