FBI reportedly sought records on 'Access Hollywood' tape, Trump communications in Michael Cohen raid
Michael Cohen. Photo by By IowaPolitics.com, via Wikimedia Commons.
Updated: FBI agents who raided the office and temporary home of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Monday reportedly sought records related to an Access Hollywood tape in which Trump was heard making vulgar comments about women to a reporter.
A search warrant revealed the tape information was one target of the raid, according to three anonymous sources who spoke with the New York Times. The warrant also said the FBI was searching for any evidence that the lawyer, Michael Cohen, tried to suppress damaging information about Trump during the campaign, according to the article.
The search warrant also reportedly sought Trump’s communications with Cohen about the tape, according to a CNN report that is based on anonymous sources. It is the first time in which a search warrant was known to directly mention the president, according to the report.
The Access Hollywood tape became public a month before the election. On the tape, Trump tells an Access Hollywood reporter that he just starts kissing women, “and when you’re a star, they let you do it.”
Previous reports said FBI agents in the search had sought records on payments to Stormy Daniels and to another woman who claimed she had an affair with Trump. Cohen has said he paid $130,000 to Daniels. The second woman, former Playboy Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal, says she was paid $150,000 by the parent company of the National Enquirer.
Three sources tell CNN they believe the warrant was aimed at discovering what Trump knew, if anything, about efforts to clamp down on such negative information and whether he had any involvement.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are said to be investigating Cohen for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations.
The Times says it’s unclear what role Cohen played in connection with the tape, but details in the warrant “reveal that prosecutors are keenly interested in Mr. Cohen’s unofficial role in the Trump campaign.”
Updated at 4:43 p.m. with information from CNN.