Manage episode 206035339 series 1082670
As if the tangled and muddled web of potential Russian collusion and conspiracy with Americans to interfere in the 2016 Presidential Election was not confusing enough, we now have the activities of President Trump’s former attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen to further complicate matters.
Philip Ewing, security editor for National Public Radio (NPR) in Washington, has been following the Cohen situation as it unfolds. He notes there are three main elements. First, what documents should be turned over to federal agents and secondly, what roll, if any, did Cohen play in the Russia collusion matter and thirdly, did Cohen break any laws in his representation of major global corporations by promising access to the Trump Administration?
Ewing tries to break the events down to understandable terms for the average person. He shares with us his insights and expertise.
In early April 2018, the FBI executed a court-ordered search warrant on Cohen’s office, his home, and his hotel. Multiple records and electronic devices were seized. Federal Judge Kimba Wood has appointed a former judge to do a preliminary examination of these documents to determine which ones should be turned over to federal prosecutors and which should be sealed under the theory of “attorney-client” privilege.
These documents could be potential evidence against Michael Cohen is an array of possible federal criminal charges and could possibly link the President and others to nefarious activities.
Cohen also has been linked to various significant foreign notables who might be involved in potential collusion regarding the election. He either has been seen meeting with them or records indicate he has received substantial amounts of money from them, says Ewing.
Finally, Michael Avenatti, the attorney for Stormy Daniels (a woman who claims to have had an affair with Donald Trump), is trying to break a non-disclosure agreement so that his client can speak openly of her relationship with the President. He also has sued Michael Cohen and President Trump for defamation for alleged “untruths” that they have said against his client.
Recently, Avenatti has released a report indicating that Cohen has received large sums of money from various global corporations and a Russian oligarch for some type of access to the President or influence over him. These money transfers might open Cohen and others to additional criminal liabilities.
Meanwhile, the “Washington Post” reports that President Trump is fixated on the raid on Cohen’s properties and speaks negatively of it some 20 times a day. No one, currently knows, why the President is so concerned. Ewing discusses some possibilities with the Spectrum podcast.
He also describes the chasm between the painstakingly methodical approach of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the political/public relations frenzy being stirred up by President Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani. Ewing says some people will always believe Mueller’s investigation is a “witch hunt” regardless of facts proven in a court of law.
Ewing is a veteran Washington reporter covering primarily security and military issues throughout his career. He is a graduate of the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University and the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism.
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