FBI Raids of Attorneys' Premises Possible: As in 'Trump Case' - Legal Advisors

Michael Cohen personal attorney for US President Donald Trump arrives to appear before Senate Intelligence Committee staff as the panel investigates alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is aiding the FBI as investigators look into a $130,000 payment she received as part of a nondisclosure agreement from Cohen 10 years after the alleged sexual encounter, NBC News reported.

The New York Times, which first reported the news about the two women, said the search warrant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation raids also sought information about McDougal, who was paid $150,000 by the parent company of The National Enquirer tabloid, which then withheld a story about her relationship with Trump.

To preserve attorney-client privilege, legal experts say a so-called "taint team" of lawyers not part of the prosecutorial case in question would review the seized material to determine what prosecutors can and can't see.

It is unknown if Cohen recorded conversations between himself and Trump, the newspaper said.

The judge also heard from a new lawyer for Trump, Joanna Hendon, who said the president had "an acute interest" in the case.

The request for records about Cohen's communications with Sterling provides a fuller picture of the federal investigation into the longtime Trump confidant.

Cohen has denied wrongdoing.

"The attorney-client privilege can't at the same time be used as a sword (and) as a shield", McKay told Wood.

Raids such as the one conducted Monday are unusual because federal prosecutors need to follow special guidelines to justify searches of an attorney's offices.

President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was known to tape conversations with associates, and White House officials are anxious that federal investigators might have gotten their hands on recordings, according to a report. He called Mueller's investigation "an attack on our country". Still, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told reporters Wednesday the legislation is expected to come up for a committee vote, possibly as soon as next week.

Justice Department guidelines say only Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller last May, has the authority to fire him and only for specific cause.

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The U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan is looking into any potential fraud in the payments.

In a footnote, prosecutors wrote that although the investigation was referred to prosecutors by Mueller, it was proceeding independently.

Nervous White House aides expressed new fears about the president's unpredictability in the face of the Cohen raid, which he viewed as an assault on a longtime defender and a sign that Mueller's probe into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign was "going too far".

Under Justice Department regulations, Mueller must consult with Rosenstein when his investigators uncover new evidence that may fall outside his original mandate.

It was an extraordinary seizure of documents that could yield an extraordinary witness against the US president - his own attorney.

Federal agents reportedly seized documents from Cohen related to several issues, including his $130,000 payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

Three sources tell CNN they believe the warrant was aimed at discovering what Trump knew, if anything, about efforts to clamp down on such negative information and whether he had any involvement.

Daniels argues the agreement is legally invalid because it was signed by only Daniels and Cohen, and was not signed by Trump.

Trump lashed out Monday evening at the White House...

Last month, Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, sent letters to the Trump Organization demanding the business preserve all of its records relating to the $130,000 transaction.

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