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(UPDATED) Report: Federal prosecutors tapped Michael Cohen’s phones; recorded calls from the White House

Michael Cohen, longtime personal lawyer for President Donald Trump, leaves the United States District Court Southern District of New York on April 26 in New York City. Federal prosecutors reportedly tapped Cohen's phones before they raided his offices and his home.(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

UPDATED 5:21pm ET: NBC has issued a correction to their original report, indicating that Cohen's phones were not tapped, but rather monitored with a pen register, which allows the government to know what phone numbers Cohen was calling, but not to listen to or record Cohen's calls.

 

Federal prosecutors reportedly tapped Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's phones before they raided his offices and his home. While it is not clear how long the phones were tapped, this surveillance occurred weeks before the raid itself, according to a report from NBC News. NBC news originally reported that law enforcement had listened in on at least one phone call between Cohen and the White House, but has since corrected that claim.

What are the details?

On the morning of April 9, the FBI raided the home and offices of President Donald Trump's personal  lawyer Michael Cohen, as well as a hotel room connected to Cohen. Federal agents confiscated business records, documents, and emails, including those related to dealings with adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Among other things, the FBI was looking for information related to a payment of $130,000 in alleged hush money from Cohen to Daniels, with whom Trump reportedly had an affair shortly after Melania Trump gave birth to their son, Barron. Trump has denied the affair, although Cohen has repeatedly acknowledged the payment.

In public statements, Trump denounced the raid as a “disgraceful situation” and an "attack on our country in a true sense.”

NBC originally eported that the FBI had wiretapped Cohen's phone lines for “weeks” before the raid took place, and that at least one call that was recorded in this wiretap was from the White House. A subsequent correction from NBC indicated that law enforcement was not actually listening to Cohen's calls, or recording them.

What did Giuliani say?

Former New York City mayor and current Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani found out after the fact that Trump had called Cohen following the raid, according to NBC sources. Giuliani reportedly warned Trump not to do that again, in case Cohen's calls were being recorded.

Giuliani has also reportedly been warning Trump that Cohen might flip on the president if he thinks that a deal with prosecutors is his only option. But Trump has no doubt about Cohen's loyalty.

While not part of special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into the possibility of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, the FBI raided Cohen's office on a referral from Mueller.

Cohen was Trump's lawyer for nearly 20 years before he became president. In the past, Cohen has said that if he is ever questioned by Mueller, he will invoke the Fifth amendment.

One last thing…
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