Search warrants tied to ex-Trump lawyer released
It was Michael Cohen’s numerous contacts with a Russia-linked company and a sudden flow of foreign money into a bank account he controlled that led federal investigators to look into whether the money might be part of a plan to lift U.S. sanctions on Russia, according to court filings unsealed Wednesday.
Five search warrant applications, from the early stages of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation in 2017, were made public in response to requests from The Associated Press and other media organizations.
Cohen, once President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant, was not charged by Mueller or prosecutors in New York with anything related to Russian collusion or illegal influence peddling. But the documents shed further light on how Cohen capitalized financially on his closeness to Trump immediately after the 2016 election.
Cohen is now serving a three-year prison sentence for tax evasion, lying to Congress about a Trump real estate project in Moscow and campaign finance violations related to hush-money payments he orchestrated to two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump, the porn actress Stormy Daniels and erotic model Karen McDougal. Trump has denied the allegations.