Investigation tied to Michael Cohen case is ongoing, feds say

Part of the Michael Cohen search warrant will remain redacted until at least July because it's related to an active investigation, a judge ordered Tuesday.
Image: Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney to President Donald Trump, leaves his Manhattan apartment for federal prison on May 6, 2019.
Michael Cohen, the president's former personal attorney, leaves his Manhattan apartment on his way to federal prison on May 6.Spencer Platt / Getty Images file

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By Tom Winter and Adiel Kaplan

A federal investigation tied to President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is still ongoing, according to court papers filed Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley III cited "ongoing aspects" of the government's investigation as he granted a request from federal prosecutors to hold off on releasing certain sections of the search warrant for Cohen's office and hotel suite. The currently redacted sections include information about campaign finance violations.

Pauley agreed to give prosecutors until July 15 to identify the "individuals or entities subject to any ongoing investigations and explaining any need for continued redaction." Prosecutors had sent a letter to the judge last week outlining the investigation. The letter remains sealed.

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The April 2018 search warrant sought evidence of personal bank fraud and hush money payments to two women, porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claimed they had affairs with Trump.

Cohen was sentenced to three years behind bars in December after he pleaded guilty to making secret payments to Daniels and McDougal, lying to Congress about the president's business dealings with Russia, and failing to report millions of dollars in income. He reported to prison earlier this month.

The president and White House have denied the affairs.

Michael Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, did not immediately return a request for comment about the Tuesday court filings.

Pauley first ordered the warrant be unsealed in March after several news organizations sought access to it. He allowed prosecutors to redact sections that concerned ongoing investigations.

When the redacted search warrants were released they showed a probe into Cohen largely focused on his taxi businesses and false statements to banks as part of an effort to "relieve him" of some $22 million in debt he owed on taxi medallion loans. In communications with banks, Cohen reported that his net worth cratered from 2014 to 2017 — dropping from $75.9 million to negative $12.2 million due to the depreciation of his real estate assets and taxi medallion investments.

But 19 pages of the more than 200 page-long warrant focused on the hush money scheme to pay Daniels and McDougal. Those remain redacted, suggesting that the scheme remains part of an ongoing probe.