Search war­rants tied to ex-Trump lawyer re­leased

The News-Times - - NATION/WORLD -

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.

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