NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s long-estranged former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, says Manhattan prosecutors just lately took his cellphones to protect proof associated to a hush-money fee he made to porn actress Stormy Daniels within the waning weeks of the 2016 presidential marketing campaign.
The fee to Daniels, which Cohen says was supposed to purchase her silence about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump, has been the topic of law-enforcement scrutiny for years, however a brand new grand jury is giving it a contemporary look by a brand new grand jury.
You are reading: Cohen says DA took phones for renewed Trump hush-money probe
Cohen mentioned Wednesday that Manhattan District Lawyer Alvin Bragg’s workplace requested for the telephones as a result of it needs to extract voice recordings of conversations he had with a lawyer for Daniels, whose actual identify is Stephanie Clifford, in addition to emails and textual content messages.
“That method it may very well be used as proof if in reality they proceed ahead, which, I might suspect they’re,” Cohen mentioned in an look on CNN.
Cohen informed the AP on Wednesday that Manhattan prosecutors investigating the funds requested him for the gadgets after they met with him just lately to debate the probe. Cohen mentioned he was questioned for about 2 1/2 hours. He’s additionally anticipated to testify earlier than the grand jury in some unspecified time in the future.
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Cohen went to jail in 2019 after pleading responsible to tax evasion, mendacity to Congress and marketing campaign finance crimes. He has since completed his sentence.
The marketing campaign finance expenses had been associated to the fee to Daniels and the same payout Cohen organized to the mannequin Karen McDougal. Each ladies mentioned they’d trysts with Trump throughout his days as a actuality TV star. Trump says these tales aren’t true.
Federal prosecutors mentioned throughout Cohen’s felony case that Trump was conscious of the funds to the ladies. The U.S. lawyer’s workplace in New York, nonetheless, declined on the time to hunt a felony cost in opposition to the then-sitting president.
Cohen informed CNN that the fabric is “the identical stuff” the FBI obtained from him in a raid in 2018, “however it’s new to the district lawyer. They’ve seen a few of it however now they’re in full possession of it.”
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Bragg has empaneled a brand new grand jury to listen to proof about hush-money funds made to ladies alleging affairs with Trump, two individuals conversant in the investigation informed the AP. The individuals weren’t approved to talk publicly in regards to the grand jury continuing, which is secret, and did so on situation of anonymity.
The existence of the grand jury has been beforehand reported by a number of information organizations.
Trump and his legal professionals have mentioned that any funds made to the 2 ladies had been authorized and had been private issues, not marketing campaign bills.