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Cohen raid sought records of payments to women

The FBI raid on President Trump's personal attorney sought records on the deal set up between an ex-Playboy Playmate who has alleged an affair with Trump and a company that reportedly paid her to keep her original account from publication, a source familiar with the matter tells CNN.

Posted: Apr 11, 2018 6:53 PM
Updated: Apr 11, 2018 6:54 PM

Geoffrey Berman, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was appointed on an interim basis by the attorney general in January, was recused from the investigation into President Donald Trump's personal attorney before any search warrants were issued on his office and hotel room, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

The source did not know the specific reasons for Berman's recusal but said the decision to step aside was his and was approved by senior Justice Department officials within Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's office.

On Monday, Michael Cohen's office and hotel room were raided by a dozen FBI agents on search warrants that had been executed by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, which Berman leads, according to Cohen's attorney Stephen Ryan.

Prosecutors from the Southern District came to the criminal division at the Justice Department in Washington to sign off on the warrants, as required by the US Attorney's Manual, according to the source, and Rosenstein was made aware of the warrants before they were executed Monday.

Officials from the Southern District declined to comment on the recusal, which was first reported by ABC News.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed Berman, a former white-collar defense attorney and veteran of the Southern District, as an interim US attorney in January. Berman's ascension fueled controversy after CNN reported that Trump had personally interviewed him in the months preceding his appointment, according to two sources.

The move to meet with a candidate for a top federal prosecutor position is highly unusual, and Berman's perch in Manhattan is considered especially sensitive given its jurisdiction over Trump Tower and other businesses and associates of the President, like Cohen.

Berman's tenure at the Southern District is set to expire in early May, along with that of 16 other interim US attorneys appointed by Sessions at the beginning of the year. Under statute, interim US attorneys are able to hold their positions for 120 days without the requisite Senate confirmation

The President has not yet formally nominated Berman in advance of his interim position's expiration next month and Berman does not have the support of his two home state senators, government sources said.

In January, CNN reported that the chief judge in New York's Southern District had sent a letter to fellow judges laying out the prospect that, after the 120-day period, the possible appointment of the Manhattan US attorney would fall to the district court.

Sessions commended Berman when he announced his interim appointment.

"Geoffrey Berman brings three decades of invaluable experience," Sessions said at the time. "I am pleased to appoint him to this important role."

Before landing the coveted legal job, Berman worked for the law firm Greenberg Traurig in New York and New Jersey, where Trump confidant and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is also employed.

Berman spent time as an assistant US attorney in Manhattan in the 1990s and was part of the prosecution team that investigated the Iran-Contra scandal as well.

In his few months atop the Southern District, Berman oversaw the successful conviction of a former top aide to Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and took part in the announcement last month of the indictment of nine Iranians charged in a massive cybertheft campaign.

"He is the prototypical straight arrow," Kevin Marino, a New Jersey attorney who's a longtime friend of Berman's, said in an email. "I am entirely confident that his decision-making is the result of thoughtful and careful consideration of every issue that comes before him."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 312969

Reported Deaths: 3637
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin661641115
Ramsey27766505
Anoka22149228
Dakota22015190
Washington13999115
Stearns13733116
St. Louis8747112
Scott846255
Wright775843
Olmsted665634
Sherburne587641
Clay498457
Carver474213
Blue Earth414116
Rice412836
Kandiyohi408122
Crow Wing359634
Otter Tail314322
Chisago311611
Nobles308730
Benton299451
Winona276930
Mower261623
Douglas260337
Polk256324
Morrison231629
Lyon218711
Beltrami217117
McLeod212812
Becker205415
Goodhue203228
Steele19497
Isanti190617
Itasca190423
Carlton185816
Todd181214
Nicollet162525
Mille Lacs153631
Freeborn15336
Le Sueur147011
Cass143710
Brown141315
Waseca139211
Pine13658
Meeker12879
Roseau11964
Hubbard114925
Martin113320
Wabasha10561
Redwood94619
Chippewa8877
Cottonwood8664
Renville86527
Dodge8600
Watonwan8544
Wadena8016
Sibley7934
Rock7779
Aitkin76730
Pipestone72518
Fillmore6990
Houston6984
Yellow Medicine64812
Pennington6478
Kanabec61913
Murray5873
Swift5838
Faribault5612
Pope5391
Clearwater5248
Stevens5103
Marshall4979
Unassigned49359
Jackson4881
Lake4226
Koochiching3926
Wilkin3895
Lac qui Parle3773
Lincoln3591
Norman3497
Big Stone3182
Mahnomen2964
Grant2796
Kittson2248
Red Lake2133
Traverse1481
Lake of the Woods1001
Cook720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 227398

Reported Deaths: 2368
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33642336
Linn14352165
Scott1124986
Black Hawk10893135
Woodbury10372126
Johnson955336
Dubuque923291
Story678822
Dallas637257
Pottawattamie631970
Sioux370325
Webster358535
Cerro Gordo357144
Marshall348546
Clinton331344
Buena Vista305414
Des Moines291520
Muscatine289268
Warren281914
Plymouth276042
Wapello255772
Jones232313
Jasper217944
Marion205320
Lee203917
Carroll198422
Bremer195212
Henry18307
Crawford174616
Benton170619
Tama154340
Jackson144613
Delaware144221
Washington141314
Dickinson139210
Boone137011
Mahaska126827
Wright12456
Clay11784
Buchanan117010
Hardin115810
Page11374
Hamilton11199
Clayton11175
Cedar108413
Harrison107729
Kossuth10667
Calhoun10617
Floyd105016
Mills10487
Fayette103910
Lyon10338
Butler10216
Poweshiek99313
Winneshiek97613
Iowa95812
Winnebago93023
Hancock8677
Grundy86311
Louisa86216
Sac8608
Chickasaw8574
Cherokee8484
Allamakee81811
Cass81623
Mitchell7984
Appanoose79312
Humboldt7715
Union7706
Shelby76511
Emmet76424
Guthrie75415
Franklin73921
Jefferson7142
Madison6864
Unassigned6690
Palo Alto6554
Keokuk5997
Howard5599
Pocahontas5584
Greene5250
Osceola5241
Ida48913
Clarke4874
Davis4709
Taylor4653
Montgomery46311
Monroe44412
Adair4418
Monona4352
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