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USA: The FBI Raids on Trump’s Attorney Are Bad News for Trump - by N.Eisen, N. Bookbinder and C, Shaw

Monday's April 9 FBI raids on Michael Cohen’s office, home and hotel room are the clearest sign yet that the president’s longtime attorney is in serious legal jeopardy. They also represent yet another threatening development facing Donald Trump after more than a year of investigations into his campaign and presidency—perhaps the most direct danger yet.

No wonder he’s lashing out wildly—calling the raids “a disgraceful situation” and, absurdly, “an attack on our country.”

The evidence sought by investigators reportedly relates to bank fraud and campaign finance violations, both of which primarily point to one thing. Cohen apparently used a home equity credit line to borrow the $130,000 he paid Stormy Daniels for her silence just weeks before the 2016 election.

If Cohen lied to obtain credit from a federally insured financial institution, that is a felony punishable by up to 30 years’ imprisonment. And because the payment was likely an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign, it could constitute a willful violation of campaign contribution limits, a separate felony punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment.

That the investigation of Cohen was apparently referred by special counsel Robert Mueller to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York—a Trump appointee—is an early indication that at this point, the matter is not directly related to the Russia investigation.

But that doesn’t mean Trump’s exposure is any less serious. Cohen knows where the LLCs are hidden. He’s been at the center of Trump’s financial universe for decades. If he is as exposed as he seems on the Daniels payment, one wonders what information he might be able to offer prosecutors—including Mueller—in exchange for a deal.

Read more: The FBI Raids on Trump’s Attorney Are Bad News for Trump - POLITICO Magazine

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