Published: Sat, June 16, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Cohen Signaling Willingness To Cooperate With Feds

Cohen Signaling Willingness To Cooperate With Feds

Federal prosecutors said in a Friday court filing that they had pieced together 16 pages' worth of content from President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen's paper shredder, which was obtained in the FBI's April raids of Cohen's home, office, and hotel room.

The FBI also now has 731 pages of messages that Cohen sent on apps such as WhatsApp and Signal.

Trump has repeatedly said there was no collusion, and Russian Federation has denied interference.

In a new court filing from the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Friday, it has now become clear why: Investigators have uncovered a large trove of documents and data that Cohen appears to have kept hidden.

At the time, prosecutors had not yet provided Cohen's lawyers with reconstructed shredded documents or the encrypted messages.

Cohen has not been criminally charged, but a source familiar with the investigation told Reuters in April that the federal prosecutors are investigating him for possible bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations connected with a payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and matters concerning foreign support of Trump's campaign. ABC News reported that he intends to cooperate, while the New York Times and Wall Street Journal said Cohen had not yet made a decision either way.

Cohen has said he paid Daniels out of his own pocket during the 2016 presidential campaign but has not explained why or if Trump was aware of the payment. Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if....

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In a Thursday night filing, Blakely said Avenatti had discussed the Daniels case in at least 121 television appearances and 439 tweets, threatening to turn it into a "media circus" and deprive Cohen of his right to a fair trial.

'Mr. Avenatti either needs to respect and observe the Code of Professional Conduct (for lawyers) or remove himself from this case, ' Cohen's lawyer Brent Blakely said in an email.

This all adds up to an indication that major activity in Michael Cohen's case, and by extension, repercussions for Donald Trump, could be right around the corner.

Blakely urges the judge to sign a restraining order that would bar Avenatti from speaking with reporters or publicly releasing details about the case concerning Cohen.

Avenatti posted Otero's order on his Twitter feed, where he had called the gag order request a 'complete joke and baseless'.

The case is Clifford v Trump et al, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 18-02217.

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