On Tuesday morning, the USA attorney's office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) unsealed nearly a thousand pages of documents related to search warrants for former Trump attorney and fixer Michael Cohen. Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to lying to Congress and to several counts of campaign and finance violations.
Among the payments Cohen was believed to have received was $600,000 from AT&T Inc for consulting about "political issues, including net neutrality, the merger between AT&T and Time Warner and tax reform", and $583,333 from an investment firm controlled by Russian businessman Viktor Vekselberg.
Cohen ultimately pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations over those payments.
August 8, 2017: Federal Bureau of Investigation agents sought and obtained a search warrant from Judge Howell for content stored in Cohen's iCloud account. A judge ordered those sections to remain secret after prosecutors said they were still investigating campaign finance violations. "That reality should concern Trump's associates who were involved in parts of the criminal conspiracy, including Donald Trump Jr. and Allen Weisselberg, as well as the President himself", Moss concluded.
Mueller accessed Cohen emails within weeks of taking over Russia inquiry
Eventually, Mueller's team, which was focusing on whether Trump's 2016 campaign colluded with Russian Federation, referred much of the information on Cohen to prosecutors in the USA justice department's Manhattan office, leading to the dramatic raids on Cohen's residence and offices in April 2018. The president has denied any wrongdoing.
The warrants describe Cohen's false statements to financial institutions about the objective of Essential Consultants - Cohen's firm that took payments from AT&T, Novartis and the Russian national - as well as "activities undertaken by Cohen on behalf of certain foreign persons or foreign entities without having registered as a foreign agent", one of the documents says.
The Manhattan US Attorney's Office and FBI "are investigating a criminal violation of the campaign finance laws by Michael Cohen, a lawyer who holds himself out as the personal attorney for President Donald J. Trump". Cohen was not a registered lobbyist, nor had he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, authorities alleged. Mueller's team then handed over that data to the Manhattan federal prosecutors, and the Manhattan prosecutors also sought additional information filtered out of the Mueller searches.
They were released after U.S. District Judge William Pauley on Monday ordered prosecutors to make redacted versions public, in response to requests by news media organizations.
Cohen has provided information to investigators about Trump and the Trump campaign, but prosecutors said he refused to tell them everything he knew. Trump publicly declared that Cohen would never betray him and chafed at the raid, tweeting "Attorney-client privilege is dead!"
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