Opposition Research: Feds Sought Access Hollywood Tape Info in Trump Lawyer Raid

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Investigators who raided the office of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, were reportedly searching for records related to the 2005 "Access Hollywood" tape that briefly crippled the Trump campaign in 2016, The New York Times reports.

Prosecutors at the US attorney's office in Manhattan are looking into whether Cohen's payoffs could have violated federal election laws, as they were issued during the campaign.

The new details from the warrant reveal that prosecutors are keenly interested in Mr. Cohen's unofficial role in the Trump campaign. It was not immediately clear if Cohen played any role in the controversy. Remember, it's not Trump's office that was raided, it was Michael Cohen's.

Between the Steele dossier, and a raid on Trump's lawyer in pursuit of Stormy Daniels and Access Hollywood tape info, the Federal Bureau of Investigation really is in the opposition research business.

Journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame said Tuesday the Federal Bureau of Investigation raid on President Donald Trump's lawyer was designed for "scaring the hell out of the president".

As the president's right-hand man, Cohen also has intimate knowledge of some of Trump's most closely guarded secrets related to his personal conduct and financial dealings.

The warrant itself also tracks very closely to information already known about efforts by Trump's team to suppress negative information about Stormy Daniels, a porn star who alleges a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, and Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who says she had an affair with Trump between 2006 and 2007, the source said.

Cohen admitted to paying Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, $130,000.

"When you're a star, they let you do it", Trump says in the video, speaking to "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush. Indeed, The Washington Post reported earlier this year that Trump once asked why he could have "my guys" at the "Trump Justice Department" do his bidding. Cohen's attorney has said the search was carried out on behalf of the United States attorney's office in Manhattan in part because of a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller.

Cohen delivered a one-word rebuke when a News reporter asked him Wednesday afternoon if he was anxious about the hefty taxi debt.

But Bernstein begged to differ, saying that evidence of any "conspiracy between the president and his lawyer" would be useful to Mueller. The only person more conflicted than Mueller, he said, was Rosenstein.

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