*** UPDATE and APOLOGY: At Liberty Nation, we believe in reporting only the truth. As such, since learning that various media agencies, including NBC, have erroneously used and reported on unverified information we provide the following update: The original report that Cohen’s phones were wiretapped has been found to be untrue and retracted by NBC. Our sincere apologies. Liberty Nation Editorial Staff ***
It is being reported that federal investigators have been secretly listening to the phone conversations of Michael Cohen. Two unnamed sources have told NBC News that the FEDS wiretapped President Trump’s longtime attorney who is being investigated in connection with the Stormy Daniels affair. It’s unclear how long the wiretap has been in place, but it was, apparently, during the weeks immediately before Cohen’s offices, hotel room, and home was raided.
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said she could not verify the validity of the NBC report during a press briefing today.
Wiretaps Circling POTUS
This is not the first time those close to or even peripherally involved with Mr. Trump have had their calls intercepted. The FBI obtained a court order to monitor the communications of Carter Page, an advisor to then-candidate Trump.
Then, of course, there was the tap placed on the phone of Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager. That was obtained through a warrant issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. To procure that warrant, the FEDS had to demonstrate that Manafort was acting as an unlawful foreign agent.
In a March 4, 2017, Tweet the president wrote, “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism.”
McCarthyism is beginning to look like a grammar school playground next to all this. And so, Mr. Trump has already started to arm himself with the best lawyers he can find who know just how this kind of game is played.
Rudy to the RescueRudy Giuliani on the Trump campaign trail
As reported by Liberty Nation’s Tim Donner, “It is both [Rudy] Giuliani’s experience as a federal prosecutor and his long and friendly relationship with Special Counsel Robert Mueller which make this an intriguing hire.” According to “sources close to Trump’s newest attorney,” Giuliani discovered that just days after the raid, President Trump called Cohen. He then warned the president not to call him again, expressing both concern that the conversations might be recorded, and that Cohen might flip on him. The president, of course, denied that Cohen would do so, saying that he had known the man for years.
Evidently, at least one of Giuliani’s fears was justified. Only time will tell whether the second one will be as well. Cohen did say that he would invoke the Fifth Amendment should he be subpoenaed, and so far, there is no evidence that he is cooperating with the investigation.
The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan are examining the transaction between the lawyer and actress because it was allegedly a violation of FEC regulations. It’s unclear what, exactly, Cohen might say that would incriminate either himself or the president, but he has argued that the bulk of the material seized during the raids fall under attorney-client privilege and are therefore protected.
Thus far, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the White House, Giuliani, and Cohen’s lawyer, Steve Ryan, have all either declined or ignored NBC’s requests for comments. Stay tuned to Liberty Nation for further updates and analysis as this story develops.
You Never Know Who Might be Listening
According to an American Bar Association report wiretapping has been in existence for almost as long as the telephone itself. As technology has vastly increased, opportunity to intercept these communications has likewise escalated. The wiretap is especially useful in white-collar crime investigations because many of those cases are based on circumstantial evidence and a wiretap can be used to shore up a prosecutor’s case.
Included in The Wiretap Act is Title III, which lists several offenses in which wiretaps can be granted — and money laundering is one of them. Widespread speculation among attorneys and legal scholars has been that is precisely what is at issue in the Cohen probe. Still, prosecutors are expected to meet a high burden when requesting a wiretap from a federal judge. Prosecutors also must demonstrate that the crime is ongoing.
With all this wiretapping in and around him, the president is wise to keep quiet and let his attorney’s forge ahead.