Robert Mueller investigated Michael Cohen for money laundering, foreign lobbying violations

March 19, 2019 GMT

Special counsel Robert Mueller was investigating Michael Cohen for money laundering and violations foreign lobbying laws, according to newly unsealed documents released Tuesday.

Mr. Mueller’s interest in Cohen’s possibly acting as an unregistered foreign agent was not previously disclosed. Cohen was never charged with such a crime.

Cohen was also not charged with money laundering, although media reports said that was an interest of the Mueller team. The case was later handed off to federal prosecutors in Manhattan.

The documents also revealed that Mueller obtained a search warrant targeting Cohen in the summer of 2017, nearly a year before the FBI raided his home, office and hotel. At the time of the warrant, Cohen was still serving as President Trump’s personal attorney.

On July 18, 2017, Mr. Mueller secured a warrant to search one of Cohen’s gmail accounts, according to the filings. He sought access to all of Cohen’s emails from January 2016 to July 2017.

A federal judge later approved a second warrant for data stored in Cohen’s iCloud account, the documents revealed. A third warrant authorized access to emails as far back as June 1, 2015 nearly two weeks before Mr. Trump declared his candidacy for the White House.

New York federal prosecutors heavily redacted pages of details about the warrants tied to Cohen making hush payments to two women who have alleged affairs with Mr. Trump. The 20-page exhibit is almost entirely redacted.

Cohen pled guilty last year to campaign finance violations related to those charges. He said he committed the crime “at the direction of” Mr. Trump, a claim the president has denied.

The disclosures were part of a trove of documents released Tuesday. The documents included search warrants, warrant applications and affidavits that ultimately led to the raid on Cohen’s hotel, home and office in April 2018.

All told, prosecutors filed a total of 895 pages.