New York (AFP) – Federal agents on Monday raided the New York offices of President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who made a $130,000 payment to an adult film actress who says she had an affair with the former real estate magnate.
Cohen’s own attorney Stephen Ryan said agents seized “privileged communications” between Cohen and Cohen’s own clients, in part based on a request from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating links between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Cohen has been Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant for years, advising him on real estate and personal matters, as well as supporting him since he became president.
Cohen also made the $130,000 payoff to the porn actress Stormy Daniels, ahead of the 2016 election, which she claims was meant to keep her quiet about an alleged affair with Trump.
Ryan lashed out at prosecutors over the raid, which came as Mueller seeks to interview Trump for his sprawling investigation.
“The decision by the US attorney’s office in New York to conduct their investigation using search warrants is completely inappropriate and unnecessary,” Ryan said.
“It resulted in the unnecessary seizure of protected attorney-client communications between a lawyer and his clients.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Last week, Trump broke his silence over the payment to Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, denying he paid her hush money through his attorney and insisting he did not know why Cohen made the payment.