Speed Reads

Michael Cohen raid

Michael Cohen's shredded documents reportedly include handwritten notes and strange letters

During FBI raids on Michael Cohen's home, office, and hotel room in April, agents were able to recover mountains of shredded paper, and BuzzFeed News on Monday obtained some of the documents — including handwritten notes on a taxi business and odd letters from a woman described as a "vexatious litigant" who claimed she was stalked by President Trump in the '80s — that have been pieced back together.

Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer, is under investigation by the Southern District of New York. During the raids, FBI agents gathered shredded paper, computers, cellphones, and other devices, ultimately ending up with almost four million documents and electronic files. Many of the documents BuzzFeed News viewed that had been put back together didn't make a lot of sense, because not all of the shredded pieces were found, but others were easy to read, like an invitation to a reception in Miami for Qatari business representatives.

BuzzFeed News also saw a document that was previously reported on by The Washington Post: the record of a $62,500 wire transfer made in March into a First Republic Bank account Cohen controlled, which is likely linked to a hush-money agreement Cohen set up with a woman who had an affair with GOP fundraiser Elliot Broidy.

In other Cohen news, his interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos aired Monday morning, and a friend told Vanity Fair he's feeling more comfortable speaking to reporters about what's happening in his life. This wasn't about sending secret messages to anyone, but rather Cohen "trying to get ahead of things," his friend said. "[He] started feeling like he may not be thought of as the villain anymore. This was about getting his voice heard before it's too late."