A search warrant used this week to raid the office and residences of Michael D. Cohen specifically asked for his communications with then-candidate Donald Trump.
The warrant indicates that investigators appear to be examining what role the longtime Trump attorney played in trying to tamp down unflattering stories as Trump sought to win the White House.
Stephen Ryan, an attorney for Cohen, has called the Monday raids “inappropriate and unnecessary,” saying Cohen has cooperated completely with all government entities investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
The probe into Cohen, which was referred by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, appears to be focused in part on the lawyer’s involvement with payments made to two women who alleged affairs with Trump.
The search warrant executed Monday sought all of Cohen’s communications about payments or negotiations with adult-film star Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal.
In the “Access Hollywood” video, Trump is heard on a live microphone bragging in extremely vulgar terms about groping and kissing women without their consent.
“When you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump says in the video, speaking to “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush. “You can do anything.”