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Cohen raid sought records of payments to women

The FBI raid on President Trump's personal attorney sought records on the deal set up between an ex-Playboy Playmate who has alleged an affair with Trump and a company that reportedly paid her to keep her original account from publication, a source familiar with the matter tells CNN.

Posted: Apr 11, 2018 7:51 PM
Updated: Apr 11, 2018 7:54 PM

Geoffrey Berman, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was appointed on an interim basis by the attorney general in January, was recused from the investigation into President Donald Trump's personal attorney before any search warrants were issued on his office and hotel room, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

The source did not know the specific reasons for Berman's recusal but said the decision to step aside was his and was approved by senior Justice Department officials within Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's office.

On Monday, Michael Cohen's office and hotel room were raided by a dozen FBI agents on search warrants that had been executed by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, which Berman leads, according to Cohen's attorney Stephen Ryan.

Prosecutors from the Southern District came to the criminal division at the Justice Department in Washington to sign off on the warrants, as required by the US Attorney's Manual, according to the source, and Rosenstein was made aware of the warrants before they were executed Monday.

Officials from the Southern District declined to comment on the recusal, which was first reported by ABC News.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed Berman, a former white-collar defense attorney and veteran of the Southern District, as an interim US attorney in January. Berman's ascension fueled controversy after CNN reported that Trump had personally interviewed him in the months preceding his appointment, according to two sources.

The move to meet with a candidate for a top federal prosecutor position is highly unusual, and Berman's perch in Manhattan is considered especially sensitive given its jurisdiction over Trump Tower and other businesses and associates of the President, like Cohen.

Berman's tenure at the Southern District is set to expire in early May, along with that of 16 other interim US attorneys appointed by Sessions at the beginning of the year. Under statute, interim US attorneys are able to hold their positions for 120 days without the requisite Senate confirmation

The President has not yet formally nominated Berman in advance of his interim position's expiration next month and Berman does not have the support of his two home state senators, government sources said.

In January, CNN reported that the chief judge in New York's Southern District had sent a letter to fellow judges laying out the prospect that, after the 120-day period, the possible appointment of the Manhattan US attorney would fall to the district court.

Sessions commended Berman when he announced his interim appointment.

"Geoffrey Berman brings three decades of invaluable experience," Sessions said at the time. "I am pleased to appoint him to this important role."

Before landing the coveted legal job, Berman worked for the law firm Greenberg Traurig in New York and New Jersey, where Trump confidant and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is also employed.

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

In his few months atop the Southern District, Berman oversaw the successful conviction of a former top aide to Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and took part in the announcement last month of the indictment of nine Iranians charged in a massive cybertheft campaign.

"He is the prototypical straight arrow," Kevin Marino, a New Jersey attorney who's a longtime friend of Berman's, said in an email. "I am entirely confident that his decision-making is the result of thoughtful and careful consideration of every issue that comes before him."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30901

Reported Deaths: 1964
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9040531
Lake3191167
Cass15796
Allen121365
St. Joseph113234
Hendricks110365
Hamilton109291
Johnson1065102
Elkhart93827
Madison57658
Bartholomew46733
Porter46521
Clark45038
LaPorte38721
Tippecanoe3563
Jackson3531
Howard34417
Delaware34027
Hancock31527
Shelby31121
Floyd31138
Boone27935
Morgan25724
Vanderburgh2402
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White2128
Montgomery21114
Clinton2041
Harrison18321
Grant17820
Noble17420
Dubois1712
Greene16723
Warrick16326
Dearborn16221
Monroe15810
Henry1556
Lawrence14222
Miami1351
Vigo1357
Putnam1297
Jennings1264
Orange12222
Scott1153
Ripley1126
Franklin1068
Carroll882
Daviess8116
Steuben762
Newton7210
Wabash722
Kosciusko711
Wayne665
Marshall611
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Washington521
Jasper521
Fayette504
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Rush452
Jefferson411
Jay410
Clay381
Pulaski380
Randolph373
Whitley342
Brown331
Sullivan311
Starke303
Owen301
DeKalb281
Knox240
Benton240
Crawford230
Perry230
Huntington222
Tipton221
Wells220
Switzerland190
Blackford191
Fountain172
Parke170
Posey170
Spencer141
Gibson132
Ohio130
Adams121
Warren121
Martin100
Union80
Vermillion80
Pike50
Unassigned0152

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 31408

Reported Deaths: 1956
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin5097224
Cuyahoga3851207
Marion260821
Hamilton2349128
Lucas2087228
Pickaway203835
Mahoning1317169
Summit1204159
Butler75025
Stark67089
Lorain63759
Montgomery57814
Trumbull51442
Columbiana47750
Belmont38112
Miami34630
Warren31919
Portage30958
Tuscarawas3062
Delaware29211
Ashtabula27431
Medina27419
Wood26945
Lake26312
Geauga25029
Wayne24850
Fairfield2333
Licking20110
Clark1956
Allen18431
Richland1793
Mercer1783
Clermont1775
Darke14716
Erie1374
Madison1327
Washington11618
Morrow1041
Crawford1043
Greene925
Ottawa877
Putnam8514
Monroe719
Sandusky6510
Hocking643
Ross622
Jefferson622
Auglaize583
Williams511
Huron491
Hancock481
Muskingum440
Clinton430
Union420
Hardin380
Logan380
Shelby372
Wyandot362
Fulton350
Fayette340
Defiance322
Preble301
Guernsey300
Carroll282
Lawrence280
Champaign261
Brown241
Coshocton240
Knox231
Holmes221
Vinton190
Highland181
Perry171
Seneca172
Ashland170
Henry140
Scioto140
Athens131
Paulding130
Jackson110
Harrison100
Adams81
Gallia71
Meigs60
Pike60
Noble50
Morgan50
Van Wert50
Unassigned00
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