Trump lawyer Cohen calls Federal Bureau of Investigation agents 'courteous' and 'respectful' after raid

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As Trump cancelled plans to attend a summit of leaders in Peru, his friends rallied to his defence following the raids by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on the Manhattan office and home of Cohen, his longtime personal attorney and confidant.

Berman spent time as an assistant USA attorney in Manhattan in the 1990s and was part of the prosecution team that investigated the Iran-Contra scandal as well.

Asked if he was anxious, Cohen said: "I would be lying to you if I told that I am not". Trump's foursquare behind him, after all.

Cohen is Trump's virtual vault - the keeper of his secrets, from his business deals to his personal affairs - and the executor of his wishes. According to a report on Monday by The Washington Post, Cohen is under investigation for "possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations". But experts agree this latest development should concern Cohen.

"Geoffrey Berman brings three decades of invaluable experience", Sessions said at the time. Mueller is most conflicted of all (except Rosenstein who signed FISA & Comey letter).

Ryan said on Monday the raid was inappropriate and that his client has cooperated with all government authorities. When the object of the application for a search warrant is an attorney who has worked for the President, it is fair to presume that the prosecutors presented the court with strong evidence of probable wrongdoing, or maybe even something stronger.

"At that point, anything to do with that entire incident is, I would argue, not attorney-client privilege, " said Patrick Cotter, a former federal prosecutor who practices law in Chicago.

"What do you call a lawyer who graduated with a 2.0?"

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But former US attorney and deputy assistant attorney general Harry Litman said the way the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled the raid actually showed the seriousness with which the Department of Justice treats material that might be protected by attorney-client privilege. "It can not be discovered", he said.

The only way the prosecution would be permitted to examine any material that might otherwise fall under the attorney-client umbrella is if it is determined to be part of a crime jointly undertaken by the attorney and the client. We're going to respect the process. Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor in IL, elucidated the difficulty of differentiating between the two.

Prosecutors are also required to consider less intrusive alternatives to a search warrant, such as a subpoena, if practical.

A furious Trump, who in the last month has escalated his attacks on Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, said from the White House that it was a "disgrace" that the FBI "broke into" his lawyer's office.

And if the potentially privileged material is challenged, the burden of proof is on the prosecutors to show that they made "zero use of privileged material" and their investigation was not in any way influenced by it. "If I was Trump, that would be my biggest concern". The warrants were obtained by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of NY. The special counsel was appointed by the Justice Department previous year to investigate alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential collusion by Trump's campaign. But legal experts say the White House could achieve the same end result by rescinding the regulation that allows for a special counsel.

The raid on Mr Cohen though takes the probe close to the Oval Office. Adding that the situation was "disgraceful" and a "witch hunt". "It was wise of Rosenstein to assign the case to another office to take the heat off of Mueller". "There are several possible crimes that might have been committed by the circumstances of the hush money, but these are appropriately investigated by a USA attorney, not by special counsel appointed to investigate Russian interference in the election".

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said it would be "suicide" for the president to move to remove Mueller as special counsel. Could be that it's unrelated to a lot of the other work Mueller's doing.

MARIOTTI: Thank you. Have a good one. But don't expect new indictments too soon. Again they found nothing and in finding nothing that's a big statement. "Nixon didn't resign because of the Ellsberg Papers, but that led to the Watergate break-in, that led to the cover-up, and Nixon's resignation was tied directly to the cover-up".

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