- Special counsel Robert Mueller obtained court-approved warrants to search Michael Cohen’s emails in July 2017.
- This means Mueller was investigating Cohen much earlier than was previously known, and a little less than a year before an FBI raid on Cohen’s home.
- The president’s former lawyer and fixer, who has pleaded guilty to an array of crimes that he’s been sentenced to three years in prison over, has been cooperating with Mueller.
Special counsel Robert Mueller was investigating Michael Cohen for nearly a year prior to an FBI raid Cohen’s home, according to documents released on Tuesday.
The documents show that Mueller obtained warrants to investigate Cohen’s emails in July 2017, according to multiple reports, a little less than 12 months prior to the April 2018 raid on the home of the president’s former lawyer and fixer.
The release of the heavily redacted search warrants comes roughly a month and a half after US District Judge William H. Pauley III agreed to a request from a number of media organizations for the documents to be unsealed due to public interest.
“At this stage, wholesale disclosure of the materials would reveal the scope and direction of the government’s ongoing investigation,” Judge Pauley said, explaining why the documents were redacted.
But this release reveals that Mueller was looking into Cohen far earlier than was previously known to the public.
“In connection with an investigation then being conducted by the Office of the Special Counsel, the FBI sought and obtained from the Honorable Beryl A. Howell, Chief United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, three search warrants for emails and other content information associated with two email accounts used by Cohen, and one search warrant for stored content associated with an iCloud account used by Cohen,” one of the unsealed documents states.
Cohen, who has pleaded guilty to an array of crimes and sentenced to three years in prison, has been cooperating with Mueller – who is leading the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian election interference.
“Tomorrow’s Court-ordered release of affidavits that led to search warrants of [Cohen’s] home, office, only furthers his interest in continuing to cooperate & providing information & #truth about [President Donald Trump] & [the Trump Organization] to law enforcement & Congress,” Lanny Davis, an attorney for Cohen, said in a tweet on Monday.
Among the crimes Cohen pleaded guilty to were campaign finance violations linked to payments made to two women who alleged they had affairs with Trump. Cohen has implicated the president in these crimes.