In another twist to the ongoing investigations of Donald Trump and his interactions, the FBI raided the office of Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, last week. For such a raid to occur, means that standard of evidence to obtain such a warrant from a federal judge is much higher than in normal scenarios. Trump took to Twitter to proclaim, “attorney client privilege is dead!” In an appearance in court a few days later, Cohen tried to restrict access to some of the evidence obtained during the FBI raid, to no avail. Court document’s revealed that Cohen had been under criminal investigation for months before the raid.
The federal judge in the case also wondered if Cohen’s relationship with Trump falls under attorney-client privilege and ordered Cohen to provide a list of clients by today. If the attorney-client privilege does not apply to Cohen and Trump much of the protections the two claim will be invalid. This has profound consequences, especially in the cases that involve hush money paid to cover up Trump’s affairs with women which could violate campaign finance laws.
The raids were not part of the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, however, Cohen is a person of interest to that investigation. McClatchy released a report on Friday, based on multiple sources, that Mueller has evidence that Cohen was in Progue in 2016. This is very significant because, if true, it lends credence to the Steele Dossier which reported that Michael Cohen had met in Prague with a “powerful” Kremlin official to strategize over the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Or, in other words, it would be the “collusion” with Russia Trump has vehemently denied and is being investigated for by Mueller. Cohen has repeatedly denied he has ever been to Prague.
If the McClatchy report is true, Mueller’s investigation is now at Trump’s front door. Mueller’s noose has been slowly tightening since the investigation began, but now it is tighter than ever. And on top of that, with the raid on Michael Cohen’s office, who knows what else will come to light to investigators. There are reports that Trump’s close aids believe that the investigation of Michael Cohen poses a bigger and more immediate threat than the Mueller investigation.