AS THE DONALD TURNS: Feds raid office of his "personal attorney."
The headline refers, I'm afraid, to the president of the United States
and his "personal attorney," Michael Cohen
. The F.B.I. raided Cohen's office today, seizing various records and files, multiple media outlets are reporting. Here's the report from the New York Times
, which broke the story. The feds obtained a search warrant based on a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, although there is no evidence that the search is directly connected to Mueller's probe.
Cohen's grasp of the law seems suspect, but he is a highly loyal surrogate willing to do the dirty work for Donald Trump, who ran his business — and perhaps also his campaign — like a mafia operation. Among other duties, Cohen handled the payment of hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels
, who says she had an affair with Trump (while he was married to Melania Trump
, who was pregnant at the time).
The Daniels imbroglio, which may have involved violations of campaign finance law, is just one potential legal trouble spot for Cohen, who has allegedly been involved in all sorts of shady dealings in the Trump orbit. Among the records seized, according to the report in the Times, were tax documents and business records. That likely includes communications between Cohen and Trump.
I'm going to take a hard pass on getting too far into the muck of what may
or may not happen in the Mueller investigation. But Cohen may be in hot water in several different ways, which means things could get stormy for his boss.
You might also remember Cohen for his response to an allegation by Trump's first wife, Ivana, from a deposition in the early 1990s, that Trump had raped her.
Cohen's horrifying reply: "Understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse. It is true. You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.” (This is in fact not true, but entirely false.) When a reporter at the Daily Beast proceeded with that story, Cohen said
, “So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me? You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape,’ and I’m going to mess your life up … for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet."
Anyway, Cohen is a standup guy, bummer about the FBI raid.