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DUFAULT: Raid on office spells trouble for Cohen

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The recent FBI raid on Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen’s office, which was facilitated after a referral by special counsel Robert Mueller, raises a bit of questions.

First, it’s clear Mueller was somehow involved in the raid. It was reported the raid was actually technically not connected to Mr. Trump, but instead an investigation into whether or not Cohen allegedly wired money to Stormy Daniels for her silence. Daniels claims she and the President had an affair in 2006 and the president gave her a large sum of money to cover it up.

But the extent of Mr. Mueller’s involvement in the raid is convoluted. The raid was carried out by the FBI in relation to a recommendation by New York federal prosecutors. This is important to note because it seems as if Mr. Mueller was not attempting to get too involved in this ordeal.

But Mueller also claimed Trump was not the target of his investigation of a probe involving Russian interference in the 2016 election, but was indeed a subject. Yet despite this, it is difficult to argue this investigation has nothing to do with Mr. Trump and is simply an investigation into whether or not Cohen violated federal law.

If Mueller referred this raid in an attempt to expose the scandal involving Daniels and Trump, then it is clear he is expanding his investigation to include more scandals than just Russian investigation. If that is the case, then Mueller must ensure he does not meddle in any of Trump’s personal affairs, as any evidence found involving Daniels could devolve into a sort of personal attack.

Additionally, the issue of attorney-client privilege could be an issue, as the investigative team cannot legally reveal anything that falls under its jurisdiction.

While Trump could be affected, the individual at the most risk after this raid is Michael Cohen.

Cohen has reportedly said he would continue to protect Trump. Also, strangely, it was reported Cohen created a shield company to give himself an anonymous identity in order to give Daniels the money. Donald Trump reportedly never signed off on this deal, either, but it was allegedly carried out regardless.

If true, this is a major problem for Cohen. It would mean he signed off on a deal on the behalf of a client, which isn’t legal. Cohen’s commitment to protecting the President could cause a revoking of his legal designation. To me, it is extremely confusing why Cohen is risking his entire career to facilitate this alleged scandal.

So could it be that Cohen is just a puppet for Trump? There is obviously an incentive for the New York lawyer, as I find it extremely hard to believe Cohen would put his entire career at risk in order to protect Donald Trump. There is something deeper occurring, and whether or not this raid reveals that is left to be seen.

Another important point is how Donald Trump handles this entire situation. The best course of action for him would be to do nothing. But it is already too late for that. It’s evident from past events that Trump is most certainly not going to stay quiet on this issue. In fact, we probably haven’t heard the last from him. As I’ve said in many of my columns, Trump digs himself into holes by commenting on issues.

Ironically, I don’t believe this raid will reveal much about Trump’s character. Everyone and their mother already knows Trump has maintained a not-so-great relationship with women, so this scandal is just another chapter in that narrative.

For Cohen, this case is a critical for the preserving of his career. He now must make the choice of whether or not protecting Trump is worth destroying his reputation. Additionally, if Mueller is able to prove that Cohen participated in illegal activity, it could be a major problem for Trump in the long run.

It is left to be determined if any of the evidence found in Cohen’s office can actually be used.

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