New York prosecutors on Friday blasted President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, over his request to block federal investigators from using evidence seized by FBI agents during Monday raids on his Manhattan office, apartment and hotel room.
In Friday’s court filing, the prosecutors confirm for the first time that Cohen is under criminal investigation and has been for months.
“Cohen now seeks the extraordinary remedy of preventing the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York … from reviewing lawfully obtained evidence of Cohen’s alleged criminal conduct,” the filing reads.
“This request is unprecedented and is not supported by case law in this Circuit,” the filing continues.
“The information gathered thus far in the investigation suggests that the overwhelming majority of evidence seized during the searches will not be privileged material, but rather will relate to Cohen’s business dealings.”
Trump ripped the FBI over Monday’s raid, calling it a “disgrace” and an “attack” on the country.
“Attorney–client privilege is dead!” the president tweeted Tuesday.
Cohen filed a motion on Friday for a temporary restraining order on the evidence.
However, the U.S. attorneys noted that Cohen is “being investigated for criminal conduct that largely centers on his personal business dealings.”
They also say “Cohen is in fact performing little to no legal work, and that zero emails were exchanged with President Trump.”
The Hill added:
Cohen has not responded to the allegations against him and has not yet been charged with a crime.
Cohen is reportedly under investigation for bank fraud and campaign finance violations over his $130,000 payment in 2016 to an adult-film star who claims to have had an extramarital affair with Trump in 2006.
Trump denies the affair and knowledge of the payment at the time, which Cohen has backed up and said did not constitute an unreported donation to the Trump campaign.
News of Monday’s raid and Trump’s subsequent comments have reignited suspicion that the president may be preparing to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, as well as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said this week that the president “certainly believes that he has the power to do so.”