Priscilla Obilana analyses the recent raid on US President Donald Trump’s Personal Attorney Michael Cohen.
On Monday April 9th at 3am, the hotel room and offices of Michael Cohen, USA President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, were both raided by the FBI. During the raid, documents, electronic files, and other records pertaining to a number of topics, like the Stephanie ‘Stormy’ Daniels case were seized.
The raid on Cohen comes after he himself hired Daniel Schwartz to be his counsel in late March after Daniels came forward with her story that she received payment before the election to keep silent about Trump’s affair with her.
Usually, when prosecutors wish to obtain documents from the accused there is a process whereby a subpoena is issued requesting the necessary documents. For this raid to take place, a search warrant had to have been granted by a judge. For anyone to be raided, there would have to be adequate evidence of criminal activity against them and an indication to the prosecutors that they are hiding something from the law. A search warrant shows the suspicion of the prosecutor as to whether the person of interest is being totally forthcoming.
For a president’s counsel to be raided, the conditions and processes taken have even tighter checks. Cohen is now under official criminal investigation by the Justice Department.
After the raid, President Trump took to his preferred platform for public notices, Twitter, to voice his outrage and his subsequent plans. In Trump’s tweets he accuses the Department of Justice of going on a “Witch Hunt.” Since, people are speculating that due to the Russia investigation that is being conducted by a Special Counsel led by Robert Mueller and now this raid, Trump plans to fire Robert Mueller. However, the raid and the case against Cohen is being conducted by the Southern District of New York, the USA Attorney’s Office and not Mueller who is investigating Russia.
It is important to note, that the investigation against Cohen is being carried out by the USA Justice Department, which is headed by the USA Attorney General who is nominated by the president and then confirmed by the Senate and is a member of Cabinet. The current Attorney General is Jeff Sessions.
Notably, although Cohen’s accused crimes have not been disclosed as far as is public knowledge, he has only one client and that is Donald Trump. As his office was raided, that could mean that there is a direct tie between what Cohen is being investigated for and the work he does for Donald Trump. Trump has had issues with lawyers in the past. During his time in office, John Dowd, his lead lawyer in the Mueller investigation, resigned and two attorneys have notably declined to represent him. Furthermore, Cohen joins the ever-growing list of those associated with Trump who are being investigated such as Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.