As Trump canceled plans to attend a summit of leaders in Peru, his friends rallied to his defense following the raids by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on the Manhattan office and home of Cohen, his longtime personal attorney and confidant.
The possible crimes listed in the search warrants that have been leaked to the press are those pertaining to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels, the former Playboy model Karen McDougal and also Cohen's lucrative and shady NY taxi business.
Both women say they were paid to keep quiet about having had sex with Trump. "We've given, I believe, over a million pages' worth of documents to the special counsel", he told the reporters.
When reached by phone, a lawyer for Cohen was not immediately available for a request to comment.
The evidence seized at Cohen's home, office and hotel room was a part of an investigation into possible campaign finance violations, bank fraud, and other possible crimes. And seizures of potentially attorney-client privileged documents raise a host of additional after-the-fact legal considerations, including how to segregate legitimately confidential communications from those unrelated to Cohen's legal advice.
In a statement Monday, Cohen's lawyer, Stephen Ryan, called the raid "inappropriate and unnecessary". Daniels claims that she had an affair with Trump in 2006, a year after his marriage to his current wife, Melania, and that Cohen allegedly pressured her to sign a non-disclosure agreement barring her from going public about the affair.
In an extraordinary turn, the man known as Donald Trump's long-time fixer is facing intensifying scrutiny by US authorities, a situation which could pose new legal risks for the President himself. "You offer reasons or evidence to support why each one of those things will be found in the location, and why those things are relevant to an ongoing investigation", which means investigators would have had to outline why communications between Trump and Cohen were pertinent to the investigation and possibly did not fall under attorney-client privilege. In the email, the representative said funds had been deposited in Cohen's account.
Maybe. But maybe there was another obvious reason they didn't publish the story, one that could well have had a lot to do with Trump's election campaign.
For Mr. Trump, the perils are different, former prosecutors said.
The Post said it was unclear if Cohen had taped any conversations with Trump. What could be illegal is if the catch-and-kill practice was an illicit effort to help the Trump presidential campaign, which was formally launched on June 16, 2015. People close to Trump and Cohen regard the warrant as an attempt by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, to pry into Trump's personal life - using other prosecutors as his proxy.