FBI Was Investigating Cohen 'Far Longer Than Previously Known'

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shows the Sting Ray II a cellular site simulator used for surveillance purposes manufactured by Harris Corporation of Melbourne Fla. Search warrant documents released Tuesda

The FBI raided Cohen's Manhattan home and office last April, marking the first public sign of a criminal investigation that has threatened Trump's presidency and netted Cohen a three-year prison sentence he's scheduled to start serving in May.

Multiple pages, apparently relating to the campaign finance scheme, were entirely blacked out in the version of the documents released on Tuesday, indicating that it remains under investigation.

Michael Cohen leaves Federal court in New York. Newly released documents show the FBI was investigating President Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer for nearly a year before agents raided his
Prosecutors Ordered to Make Public Redacted Cohen Raid Documents

The documents show that the special counsel's office was investigating Cohen for allegedly making false statements to a financial institution, and suspected bank and wire fraud - as well as possible money laundering and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. He admitted that he falsely told Congress in 2017 that Trump's company had stopped talks about a potential hotel development in Moscow before the Republican nominating contest in 2016.

■ Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference with the election and whether Russians coordinated with the Trump campaign, had placed Cohen under the microscope early on. Some of those payments were from companies with strong foreign ties, including a Korean aerospace company and Columbus Nova, an investment management firm affiliated with Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg. The agent did not indicate why the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not have access to Cohen's Trump Organization records. The agents who also scoured Cohen's hotel room and safe deposit box, seized more than 4 million electronic and paper files in the searches, more than a dozen mobile devices and iPads, 20 external hard drives, flash drives and laptops. Trump publicly declared that Cohen would never betray him and chafed at the raid, tweeting "Attorney-client privilege is dead!"

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February 8, 2018: The special counsel "referred certain aspects of its investigation into Cohen" to the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office, "which is working with the FBI's NY field office". They sought permission to gather data for the period beginning October 1, 2016, and ending November 8, 2016 - the day of the presidential election - and then again for the period starting January 1, 2018, and ending with the warrant's issuance. Agents scooped up evidence related to several issues including his relations with foreign entities, his personal business dealings involving taxi medallions, and his payments to Daniels in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election to cover up an alleged affair with then-candidate Donald Trump.

Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts in the Manhattan probe at a dramatic August hearing, and agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors.

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Local Maori leaders held a cleansing ceremony outside the Linwood Mosque in Christchurch where eight people were killed on Friday. Tipple said he supported Ardern's call for gun law reforms as the Christchurch shootings had raised legitimate concerns.

In dramatic public testimony to a congressional committee last month, Cohen declared, "I am no longer your fixer, Mr. Trump".

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