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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Robert Mueller continues to approach Trump


The FBI raided the offices and hotel room of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, on Monday, searching for various documents, including those related to the payment he made to porn actress Stormy Daniels to silence her alleged romance with the president, as several media report. Some consider the Special Prosecutor is getting really close to Trump.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan obtained the order by reference from special prosecutor of the 'Russiagate', Robert Mueller, according to Cohen's lawyers. For them, the procedure is "completely inappropriate and unnecessary".

However, the search does not seem to be directly related to the investigation into the possible Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election. "Today, the Southern District Attorney's Office in New York ran a series of search warrants and intercepted communications between my client Michael Cohen and his clients," said Stephen Ryan, Cohen's attorney. "I have been informed by federal prosecutors that the action in New York is, in part, a request from the Office of Special Prosecutor, Robert Mueller," he added. A person familiar with the requisition told The Washington Post that Cohen is being investigated for possible bank fraud and violations of campaign finance laws.

According to Ryan, Cohen has collaborated with the authorities by awarding congressional committees investigating possible Russian interference in the presidential hundreds of documents that have been requested. President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House that the review of Cohen's office, specifically the part by prosecutor Mueller is "a witch hunt constantly in process", "an attack against our country" and an "embarrassing situation". Nevertheless, it should not come as a surprise to the US President. Mueller coming for everyone, including the most powerful man on Earth was already expected.

It is known that to obtain a search warrant, prosecutors must comply with a series of steps, including convincing the judge that there is a possible criminal cause and that the procedure will find evidence to support an accusation. An order of this kind needs approval at various levels in the Department of Justice and FBI guidelines require additional steps when the person to be reviewed is a lawyer. In this case, Mueller chose to refer the matter to a group of Manhattan prosecutors who do not work in his office. Are personal views biasing this matter?

Cohen may be a person of interest to Mueller in his investigation of the 'Russiagate' for being the personal defender of the president and for having been mentioned in documents for his possible links with Russian officials. However, he has not been interviewed or pointed out of any fault by the Office of the Special Prosecutor. His name appeared on media pages when on January 12 the newspaper The Wall Street Journal revealed that he had paid the porn star Stormy Daniels $ 130,000 to not reveal a supposed "intimate relationship" in 2006 with Trump.

Shortly after hearing the news, Cohen said he had paid that amount to Daniels out of his own pocket, although it was later learned that all the arrangements with the actress were made using the e-mail of the Trump Organization. To what extent is the office of the Special Prosecutor interested in collapsing Trump’s world? It seems it’s too soon to tell.