Federal Agents Seize Documents from Trump Lawyer

In this Sept. 19, 2017 photo, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen appears in front of members of the media after a closed door meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, in Washington. Federal agents carrying court-authorized search warrants have seized documents from Cohen according to a statement from Cohen’s attorney, Stephen Ryan. He says that the search warrants were executed by the office of the U.S. Attorney for Southern District of New York but they are “in part” related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

(CN) — Federal agents carrying court-authorized search warrants have seized documents from President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen.

In a statement, Cohen’s attorney Stephen Ryan said the search warrants were executed by the office of the U.S. Attorney for Southern District of New York.

Ryan did not elaborate on what documents were taken, saying only that were related in part to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Ryan said agents seized “protected attorney-client communications” and criticized the move, saying it was “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.”

Trump seethed over the raid, calling it “a disgrace” and Mueller’s investigation “an attack on our country.”

Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, has been under heavy public scrutiny in recent months for his payment of $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels, supposedly to silence her about a purported affair she had with Trump in the mid-2000s.

Late Sunday, Daniels’ attorney once again asked a federal judge for permission to depose Trump and his “top attorney” Cohen over details of a nondisclosure agreement related to her alleged affair with the president.

Attorney Michael Avenatti refiled a motion in Los Angeles federal court late Sunday to depose Trump and Cohen for “no more than two hours” each. He also asked U.S. District Judge James Otero to order a jury trial “as soon as possible” and for 10 “targeted” documents related to the settlement agreement Daniels signed days before the 2016 election.

In this image from video, Michael Avenatti, attorney and spokesperson for adult film star Stormy Daniels, listens to a reporters’ question during an interview at The Associated Press, Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Joe Frederick)

Avenatti filed a similar motion over a week ago, which Otero denied and called “premature.”

Daniels, given name Stephanie Clifford, wants Otero to find the nondisclosure agreement between herself, Essential Consultants – a limited liability corporation Cohen set up for the purpose of paying her – and Trump “void, invalid, or unenforceable” because Trump never signed it.

Daniels says she had sex with Trump in 2006.

On April 5, Trump made his first public comments about the case by telling reporters aboard Air Force One he had no knowledge of the payment. Cohen has said he used his own money to finance the payment.

The White House and Trump have denied the affair took place.

Avenatti has asked the U.S. Treasury Department to share its suspicious-activity report of an account tied to Cohen’s payment to Daniels.

Cohen filed his opposition to the request Monday afternoon, and also asked Otero to dismiss Daniels’ defamation claim against him.

Last week, Trump asked a federal judge to send the case to arbitration. Avenatti took to Twitter to vent his disapproval of arbitration.

“We will continue to fight to keep this case in a public courtroom where sunlight can act as a disinfectant and the search for the truth can flourish.” Avenatti tweeted.

Avenatti also filed three declarations in support of the opposition to the arbitration demand, including one from Daniels who said she wouldn’t have agreed to terms of the agreement if she knew Trump wasn’t a party to it.

“I would have never signed either document nor would I have accepted the $130,000 payment,” Daniels said.

In a recent interview aired on “60 Minutes,” Daniels said a man warned her to keep quiet about the affair in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011. The man also made comments about her infant daughter, who was with her at the time.

Daniels said she plans to publicly share a composite sketch of the man Tuesday.

In this Feb. 11, 2007, photo, Stormy Daniels arrives for the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

Avenatti said Monday he is prepared to offer a “sizeable monetary reward” for information that helps identify the man.

Last week, Trump and Essential Consultants asked Otero for more time to answer Daniels’ claims that Cohen defamed her in public statements about the case. The deadline is April 9.

Avenatti opposed the extension request, saying Otero intended for the deadlines he set to be met.

“This is not a simple case of moving deadlines,” he wrote.

Cohen and Avenatti did not return requests for comment by press time.

Avenatti asked for hearing on his renewed motion to depose be scheduled for May 7.

Dan McCue contributed to this report.

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