Trump: All lawyers ‘de­flated’ by FBI raid

‘At­tor­ney-client priv­i­lege now a thing of the past,’ U.S. pres­i­dent says in a tweet

The Niagara Falls Review - - Canada & World -

WASH­ING­TON — U.S. Pres­i­dent Donald Trump said Sun­day all lawyers are now “de­flated and con­cerned” by the FBI raid on his per­sonal at­tor­ney Michael Co­hen, who is un­der crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion for per­sonal busi­ness deal­ings.

“At­tor­ney-client priv­i­lege is now a thing of the past,” he tweeted.

“I have many (too many!) lawyers and they are prob­a­bly won­der­ing when their of­fices, and even homes, are go­ing to be raided with ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing their phones and com­put­ers, taken.

“All lawyers are de­flated and con­cerned!”

The raid car­ried out last Mon­day at Co­hen’s apart­ment, ho­tel room, of­fice and safety de­posit box sought bank records, records on Co­hen’s deal­ing in the taxi in­dus­try, Co­hen’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions with the Trump cam­paign and in­for­ma­tion on pay­ments he made in 2016 to for­mer Play­boy model Karen McDou­gal and to porn ac­tress Stormy Daniels, say peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Trump has been en­raged by the raid, call­ing it an “at­tack on the coun­try.”

Lawyers for Co­hen ap­peared in fed­eral court in New York on Fri­day ask­ing that they, not the Depart­ment of Jus­tice, be given a first crack at re­view­ing the seized ev­i­dence to see if it was rel­e­vant to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion or could be for­warded to crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tors with­out jeop­ar­diz­ing at­tor­ney-client priv­i­lege.

In a court fil­ing Fri­day, fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors said the crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion had been go­ing on for months and agents had al­ready searched mul­ti­ple email ac­counts main­tained by Co­hen un­der an ear­lier search war­rant.

Pros­e­cu­tors con­tend that Co­hen was “per­form­ing lit­tle to no le­gal work” for Trump.

They ac­knowl­edged that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was re­ferred by spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller, who is look­ing into al­leged Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the 2016 U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, but was be­ing con­ducted by the U.S. at­tor­ney’s of­fice in Man­hat­tan.

White House press sec­re­tary Sarah Huck­abee San­ders de­murred when asked Sun­day on ABC’s “This Week” if Trump was wor­ried that Co­hen might agree to work with pros­e­cu­tors, if charged, to re­duce his own pun­ish­ment.

“Look, the pres­i­dent is very con­fi­dent in the fact that he has done noth­ing wrong and he can’t speak on be­half of any­one else, but he’s very con­fi­dent in what he has and hasn’t done,” San­ders said.

“And he’s go­ing to con­tinue fo­cus­ing and fight­ing for the Amer­i­can peo­ple.”

Co­hen, who didn’t at­tend Fri­day’s hear­ing, was or­dered to ap­pear in fed­eral court on Mon­day to help an­swer ques­tions about his law prac­tice. He has de­nied wrong­do­ing.

Both McDou­gal and Daniels say they had af­fairs with a mar­ried Trump, which the pres­i­dent has de­nied.

Daniels’ at­tor­ney, Michael Ave­natti, said Sun­day his client will at­tend Mon­day’s hear­ing.

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