Federal agents in New York conducted a raid Monday at the office of Michael Cohen, a personal lawyer to President Trump, The New York Times reported. A room at New York's Loews Regency hotel where Cohen has been staying was also raided, Vanity Fair reported.
The FBI raid was likely an indirect consequence of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing Russia investigation; while the search "does not appear to be directly related" to Mueller's probe, it "likely resulted from information [Mueller] had uncovered and gave to prosecutors in New York," the Times explained.
The agents seized many documents from Cohen's office, reportedly including records related to his $130,000 payment to former adult film actress Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence about an affair she says she had with Trump in 2006. Trump has denied the tryst. Cohen is also relevant to the federal probe into Russian election meddling, as his lawyer said Cohen has already "turned over thousands of documents" related to Russia, per the Times.
Last week, Trump for the first time directly acknowledged the payment from Cohen to Daniels, answering "no" when asked if he was aware Cohen made the transfer back in October 2016, just weeks before the election. Trump additionally specifically noted that Cohen was his personal attorney, saying that if reporters wanted to know why Cohen made the payment were it not intended to be hush money, they will "have to ask Michael."
Agents reportedly obtained communications between Trump and Cohen during Monday's raid, raising questions of what in the documents may be subject to attorney-client privilege. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House had no comment on the Times report.
Cohen's lawyer acknowledged the raid Monday, calling it "completely inappropriate and unnecessary" and saying that he had been "advised" that the "action is, in part, a referral by [Mueller]." Read more at The New York Times. Kimberly Alters