Andy McCarthy: Trump in Serious 'Peril' on Cohen Case

Andy McCarthy: Trump in Serious 'Peril' on Cohen Case

US President Donald Trump's personal lawyer arranged for a $US1.6 million payment to a Playboy Playmate to keep secret her sexual relationship with a top Republican fundraiser and ally of Trump, a person familiar with the matter says.

There was no discussion of recordings during a court hearing on Friday to argue over Cohen's filing of a temporary restraining order that seeks to suppress the evidence gathered in the raid.

"The results of that review ... indicate that Cohen is in fact performing little to no legal work, and that zero emails were exchanged with President Donald Trump", the filing states.

Prosecutors demanded all communication with the campaign - and in particular two advisers, Corey Lewandowski and Hope Hicks, according to two people briefed on the warrants.

"Attorney Davidson never consented to any recordings of his conversations with Mr. Cohen".

Wood said she would likely seal that hearing from the press and public, despite objections from the New York Times, Newsday, the Associated Press and ABC. Sources who spoke to McClatchy told the publication that "investigators have traced evidence that Cohen entered the Czech Republic through Germany".

Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for Stormy Daniels, told Reuters on Thursday that Cohen's attorney told him that Cohen will plead the Fifth if his application for a stay is denied.

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Accordingly, they argue, most of the material seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation does not involve attorney-client privilege and could figure in a future court case.

"The government is investigating whether there was, in connection with Trump's White House bid, a conspiracy to commit fraud and extortion for the goal of silencing potentially compromising sources - specifically, people in a position to portray Donald Trump as a womanizer", McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, said. Daniels opposes the request; her response to Friday evening's request is due by 6 p.m. PT Monday.

Cohen and the company, represented by Brent Blakely, and Trump, represented by Charles Harder, have asked the court to send the case to arbitration - as required by the agreement.

But "the attorney-client privilege can't at the same time be used as a sword and as a shield", McKay told Wood.

Investigators are said to have sought additional records related to a 2005 "Access Hollywood" tape featuring Trump in an effort to determine whether, and to what extent, Cohen tried to quash damaging information about the president during the election.

Federal agents raided Cohen's Manhattan office and residence on Monday, seizing records on topics, including a $130,000 payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels. Justice Department regulations require prosecutors to have a "taint team" not involved in the underlying investigation to sift through seized materials and make sure prosecutors don't see things that aren't relevant or are protected by lawyer-client privilege.

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