FBI Raids Trump’s Personal Attorney: Is The Swamp Trying to Take Him Down?

The invasive search will have a chilling effect.

By Rachel Alexander Published on April 15, 2018

Is the old guard — The Swamp — trying to take down President Trump by targeting his personal attorney? Was the raid on Michael Cohen’s office and hotel room a desperate attempt to get something on the president? Special Counsel Robert Mueller can’t find collusion, and Trump’s enemies are desperately trying to find something, anything, else to nail him with.

Despite the fact that the president oversees the FBI and the DOJ, there are many anti-Trump holdovers left in both agencies. Rod Rosenstein, for one. Acting as Attorney General since Jeff Sessions recused himself from the probe into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, he signed off on the raid. Many have questioned his loyalty to Trump. 

Since Special Counsel Robert Mueller is getting nowhere finding collusion, it appears Trump’s enemies are turning to porn stars.

The search was done in response to a tip by Mueller in response to Cohen’s claim that he arranged for payments to two women. The payments bought their silence about their alleged affairs with the married Trump. He said Trump knew nothing about the payments. Asked why Cohen made one of the payments, Trump said, “Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael.” Cohen admits he made the payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, but denies Trump had an affair.

American Media, the parent company of the National Enquirer, paid $150,000 to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model. A friend and supporter of Trump’s owns the company. Cohen paid $130,000 to Daniels. He made the payment just 11 days before the presidential election. Bank records revealed he set up a Delaware LLC called Essential Solutions just weeks before the payment was made to Daniels from the LLC. He said Trump did not pay him back.

Daniels is now trying to get out of the nondisclosure she signed. The search warrant also asked for records related to New York City taxi cab medallions that Cohen owns. Cohen reportedly owes $53,836 in taxes on them.

Trump tweeted angrily about the raid.

Cohen used a home equity line of credit to borrow the $130,000 he paid Daniels. If Cohen lied to obtain credit from the bank, he could be charged with a felony. If the payment is found to be an unreported in-kind contribution to Trump’s campaign, he could face a second felony charge. Legal ethics rules largely bar lawyers from settling a claim without their clients’ knowledge. The rules also bar them from using their own money to fund settlements.

Unusual Overruling of Attorney-Client Privilege

This type of information is generally protected by attorney-client privilege. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, who did not vote for Trump, observed that if the search relates “to payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels, that would not seem to justify so potentially intrusive a search of Cohen’s confidential lawyer-client files.” It’s rare for federal law enforcement to serve a search warrant on an attorney in a case as high-profile as this one, he says. They could have obtained the documents through a private subpoena.

A lawyer is usually raided only if the lawyer may be in on the crime. The “crime-fraud exception” allows prosecutors to use privileged material if it shows a client intended to further or cover up a crime. But it is generally used against lawyers who serve organized crime. To get a warrant, prosecutors must show the judge that there is a danger evidence will be tampered with.

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Dershowitz noted on Fox and Friends, “This may be an attempt to squeeze Cohen — he’s the lawyer, he’s the guy who knows all the facts about Donald Trump — and to get him to turn against his client.”

Prosecutors also requested similar documents from the Trump Organization.

The Real Agenda

There is a war going on. The old guard is trying to destroy Trump before Trump is able to expose and prosecute them. Many believe this is related to the Congressional probe into the fake Trump dossier. Officials wrongly used it to obtain a FISA warrant to wiretap the Trump campaign.

The bold move was also likely meant to scare Trump into firing Mueller. If Trump fires Mueller, there would be a brutal backlash. Trump told reporters after the raid that he was considering it.

“It is outrageous, and it’s an attempt to take down the president which is why Mueller’s got all Democrats on his staff.”

Victoria Toensing, who almost became Trump’s legal counsel, expressed her outrage to The Daily Beast. “It is outrageous, and it’s an attempt to take down the president which is why Mueller’s got all Democrats on his staff,”she  said. “It is highly unethical.”

Bernard Kerik, a former New York City police commissioner, declared, “Under the ruse of investigating Russian collusion, his critics have used the United States Justice Department as a political tool to target his friends, supporters, family, and now his attorney, Michael Cohen, to accomplish their end game — the destruction and annihilation of a sitting U.S. president.”

Since this isn’t the type of activity prosecutors would normally request a search warrant for, it is very troubling. It will have a chilling effect on clients confiding in their lawyers. And as we’ve seen with Trump’s failure to hire more lawyers recently, it will scare lawyers from working for high-profile public officials.

 

Follow Rachel on Twitter at Rach_IC.

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  • Cody

    The sewer is running scared and getting desperate, the sewer has a lot of creatures full of the stench of hate and the love of money and power, its time to get the septic truck rolling and pump the sewage out of Washington.

  • John

    Can’t get rid of the swamp. The voters will just replace it with more of the same. I heard a preacher say decades ago that “only a nationwide revival involving true repentance can save America”. Looking today I would say he was correct. I have yet to see such a revival. And I am getting old! God got rid of the “swamp” once. He sent the great flood. It was not long until the “swamp” was back in full force. Sadly, the problem is with us: God’s very people. “If my people…” says the Scripture.

    • Chip Crawford

      The scripture you quote does not automatically lay all political, national failings at the fault of the church — in that case at that time, yes. I do not believe the body of Christ is responsible for the mess in Washington or that our “repentance” would fix it. The people who do the crimes and sins are responsible for them. The Body of Christ is not accountable for their sins.

      • faithntrust

        When Jesus was on the cross, He asked God to forgive those that crucified Him — without their repentance. Just thinkin [re: repent for someone else’s sin…]

        • Chip Crawford

          Jesus extending forgiveness is a Godly act, to which we are enjoined. I do not see that as an example of him repenting for their sin, or anywhere else or from man to man. The Savior paid the price to atone for and bear the sins away of mankind in general. But man must still approach him for that application to their own. The surrogacy however does not extend from man to man by anything I see or understand from the word of God. The actual redemptive work of Jesus is the only part we are not and cannot imitate. And on the Godward side, there is even scripture in the old covenant saying that sins will no long be passed down from generation to generation, that every man will bear his own sins. If you have scripture insight otherwise you can point out, I’d be happy to consider it.

          • Hmmm…

            I agree and think intercession is the closest we come to standing in someone’s place before God. Can’t see that the same as doing their repenting for them either. Forgiving others for their offenses against us looses them in a sense and ourselves. In the reverse, when we hold things and don’t forgive, it is binding. In the case of children and certain dependents, one can act on their behalf to some extent. To the extent a person or a church or Christian group specifically or the church in general draws nearer to God, certainly repents of convicted and known sin, they/we become more effective. However, the Holy Spirit conviction will also have to be the agent to convict the world to do their own repenting.

      • John

        Perhaps you or correct. What do you think that Scripture means?

        • Chip Crawford

          Many of God’s words are widely applicable, such as “draw near to God and he will draw near to you,” for instance. However, at the time the message of 2 Chron. 7:14, was spoken to Solomon, he was the king of Israel, the only inhabitant of the land he addressed. It was thus spoken to his people as a whole resident in their own land.

          We are today the church of God living in a nation, actually a world, with others who do not know the Lord. They do not hear him and are not under his governance. He may speak a common word to his church, today divided into many parts. We have seen that in seasons the same general direction or instruction begins to come to various parts.

          Overall though, 2 Chron. 7:14 was a specific word to the united nation of Israel at that time, not an automatic admonition for all time. We pray for our land, our country, could fast for it, intercede and have effect, but it is not under our direct delegation with a central leader of our own such as Solomon and Israel at that time. That comes in the Millennium!

  • Hmmm…

    The extent to which the anti-Trump elected and appointed officials are willing to go outside the bounds of law and precedent, actually citing their feelings and personal impressions in their rulings and exercise of their offices is becoming regular occurrence. Instead of being subject to the rule of law, these officials are like inmates personally running the asylum.

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