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FBI Seizes Trump-Cohen Attorney-Client Privileged Docs

By George Khoury, Esq. on April 10, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Given the controversy surrounding President Trump, the Mueller probe, Stormy Daniels, an unsigned settlement agreement, $130,000, and Michael Cohen, the recent FBI raid on Cohen's office seemed inevitable, or at least like one of the major plot turns in some low budget comedic mystery film that just keeps getting more and more unbelievable.

As reports explain, the raid occurred Monday morning at Cohen's offices and his hotel room. Business records, as well as emails and other documents were seized. And while many attorneys have suspected something like this was in the works, the invasion of the attorney-client privilege, even when it's related to the crime-fraud exception, just never sits well.

Curiosity Ruined the Attorney-Client Privilege

It is no shock that Cohen's attorney objected to the raid, calling it "completely inappropriate and unnecessary," given that Cohen has been "cooperating." However, the ABA Journal reported that authorities were seeking information related to payments to two women alleging affairs with Donald Trump. While everyone's surely aware of the Stormy Daniels news, apparently there was a larger payment to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy Playmate of the Year, which we can only assume is mired in similarly wacky facts. Unfortunately for Stormy, McDougal allegedly received $20K more than her.

As of yet, President Trump has not made any statement related to the McDougal news. He did however tweet out, in all probability related to the raid: "Attorney-client privilege is dead!" and "A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!!" Also, it was noted that he called the raid "disgraceful."

Likely, at the heart of the raid is discovering whether there was any fraud in the payments made in these scenarios, and particularly related to fraud related to campaign finance. The fact that Trump has denied any knowledge of the Daniels payment raises some rather curious ethical questions, as does Daniels' accusations that she was intimidated. Interestingly, Daniels' attorney has renewed his motion to depose President Trump and Cohen related to the non-disclosure agreement Trump failed to, forgot to, or just did not, sign.

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