FBI agents raided the office and residences of Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen on Monday. Search warrants reportedly included conversations between Cohen and Trump.
The search, in part, included documents related to the $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels days before the 2016 presidential election.
Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano broke down why this is potentially very bad news for Trump. He said that normally, conversations between Trump and Cohen would fall under attorney/client privilege but the privilege doesn’t apply if there is “a serious allegation of illegal activity, by the lawyer with the client.”
Napolitano continued, “There must be some evidence presented to a federal judge here in New York City sufficient to persuade that judge to sign a search warrant to permit the FBI in broad daylight to raid an attorney’s office, particularly when that attorney has one client and it happens to be the president of the United States,” he told host Neil Cavuto. “That evidence would have to be such as to persuade a neutral observer, the federal judge, that it is more likely than not, that among these seized documents is evidence of crimes by Mr. Cohen or Mr. Cohen and the president.”
The crime he’s referring to is possibly connected to the $130,000 payment to Daniels.
Napolitano made sure to reiterate that the only way a judge would warrant a search is if there were sufficient “evidence of crimes.”
“You’re talking about the most confidential and protected relationship there is — lawyer and client — and the federal government has just invaded that with the express authority and approval of a federal judge, who may only permit that invasion when she or he, the federal judge, has been satisfied that it’s more likely than not that in those materials are evidence of crimes,” Napolitano said.
“It would be a crime if the Trump campaign accepted a gift of $130,000, and if the funds came from the campaign, Napolitano asserted.
A fan of Fox News, Trump pays attention when Judge Napolitano has the floor. The president has tweeted Napolitano’s talking points, and the Daily Beast has reported that the two men have spoken privately a number of times in the last few months.
Since the news of the Cohen raid broke, Trump has reportedly cancelled his trip to South America to “oversee the American response to Syria.“. Shortly after the raid became public, Trump held a press conference and openly discussed the idea of firing special counsel Robert Mueller.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) tweeted:
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) April 10, 2018
Watch — two videos: