Judicial Watch Sues DOJ for Records Related to FBI Raid on Michael Cohen

By Emilie Cochran | July 3, 2018 | 9:38am EDT
Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen is now the target of an FBI investigation. (Photo: Screen capture)

(CNSNews.com) - Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department for records related to the FBI raid on the office, home and hotel room of Michael Cohen, who was at the time the personal attorney to President Donald Trump.

Judicial Watch filed the suit after the DOJ failed to respond to three FOIA requests.

“On its face, the raid on then-President Trump’s lawyers seemed abusive and out of line,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And so it is not surprising that the Mueller Special Counsel and the Justice Department would ignore FOIA law and refuse to respond to our basic requests for information about this extraordinary raid.”

The first request was filed on April 12 of this year and sought “any and all records of correspondence and communications between the Office of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the Office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller concerning, regarding, or relating to the April 9, 2018 raids on the office and hotel room of Michael Cohen.”

The second request was filed on the same day and sought the search and seizure warrant executed by the FBI at Cohen's office and hotel room on April 9, 2018; the application for the search warrant; any affidavits submitted in support of the application; and all records about the recusal of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman from the Michael Cohen investigation.”

The third request was for “all records of communications between Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York about Michael Cohen and/or the executed search warrants of Cohen’s office, home, and hotel room,” among other documents.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, some legal experts say the FBI raid on Cohen appears to be an attempt to turn him into a cooperating witness. Cohen is described in various ways as Donald Trump's "fixer" and the keeper of Trump's secrets.

"This may be an attempt to squeeze Cohen," retired Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz told Fox News on April 10. " He’s the lawyer. He is the guy who knows all the facts about Donald Trump and to get him to turn against his client."

Cohen, meanwhile, made headlines this week when ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked him in an off-camera interview what he would do if prosecutors forced him to choose between protecting the president and protecting his family:

“My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will,” Cohen replied. “I put family and country first.” The liberal media interpreted the remark to mean that Cohen was signaling his willingness to cooperate with prosecutors who appear to be investigating all things involving Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, Trump associate Anthony Scaramucci -- who briefly served as Trump's White House communications director -- said he spoke to Cohen yesterday.

"You know, listen, I didn't get the sense that he was going to, quote-unquote, 'flip on the president,'" Scaramucci told CNN's "New Day." "I think everybody who's in a situation that Michael Cohen is has to have some level of cooperation with prosecutors, but more specifically, is he going to flip on the president or not flip on the president? I think the answer is no. But I also think that, you know, I take the president on his word that he didn't do anything wrong so there's nothing to flip on."

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