Trump lawyer tries to prevent use of materials found in Federal Bureau of Investigation raid

ImageMichael D. Cohen President Trump’s personal lawyer outside the Capitol

The FBI raid on President Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen sought information that included payments allegedly made to keep women silent about affairs with Trump more than a decade ago.

Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department officials in Washington and NY have refused to discuss the case publicly, or say what crimes they are investigating.

They also made clear that investigators have been gathering extensive evidence for some time as part of an ongoing grand jury investigation. For federal agents to have searched Cohen's apartment, office, and hotel room, prosecutors must have convinced a judge that a raid was necessary to obtain evidence of a crime that Cohen might have attempted to hide or destroy if he was issued a subpoena. His decision not to travel was publicly tied to the need to monitor the situation in Syria, but privately Trump said he didn't want to be away from the White House amid developments in the China trade dispute and in the Mueller investigation. The lawyers said they should be allowed to identify which of the documents are protected by attorney-client privilege before prosecutors get to look at them.

White House attorney Ty Cobb and White House Counsel Donald McGahn have repeatedly sought to dissuade Trump from firing Mueller and renewed their efforts after the raids, two USA officials familiar with the discussions told Reuters.

McDougal has said she carried on an affair with Trump in 2006 after the birth of his son. Khuzami, a former head of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission, only joined the U.S. Attorney's office in January after he was brought in by Berman, who himself is still waiting to see if Trump will nominate him to have the job permanently. "I think maybe Trump has met his match in this guy".

McKay, the assistant USA attorney, told the judge that he believed the proceedings were an attempt to delay the processing of seized material.

"The issues here are straightforward", he said.

On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal also reported that federal prosecutors in NY had asked the president's namesake company, the Trump Organization, to turn over any documents it had related to the $130,000 payment to Daniels.

Reportedly, the agents took away material that touched on aspects of the President's own life-including a hush-money payment made to Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress and director whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford.

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The court hearing Friday didn't provide new insight into why agents seized the items, but the judge, prosecutors and the attorneys all spoke openly about an investigation that previously has been shrouded in secrecy.

A lawyer for President Donald Trump sought in court on Friday to stop US prosecutors from deciding what materials seized from his personal attorney can be used in a probe that began with a referral by investigators looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The White House has consistently said Trump denies the affair.

Ordinarily, documents or communications seized from a lawyer by FBI agents would be reviewed by a team of Justice Department lawyers not directly involved in the investigation to determine which documents were relevant to the probe, and which should be off-limits to investigators because of attorney-client privilege.

"She resisted the idea that Cohen's lawyers, a special master" or a "taint team" favored by prosecutors should decide what becomes public.

Both McDougal and Daniels have gone public with their stories despite the agreements they are fighting that they say kept them silent.

A court spokesman reached by the AP did not elaborate further on the subject matter of the court proceeding.

"The documents seized by the government are uniquely sensitive because they contain documents relating to privileged communications between the President of the United States and his personal lawyer", they wrote.

Trump also revived his broadsides on Rosenstein as well as Rosenstein's boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom he belittled to confidants for recusing himself from the investigation and, in turn, delivering him to Mueller. No story subsequently appeared in the National Enquirer. Cohen said he paid Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her silence about her claim to have had a one-night-stand with Trump.

Trump on Tuesday hunkered down at the White House, cancelling a first trip to Latin America that was due to start on Friday and stewing on a move that could throw America into a constitutional crisis.

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