Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for all records related to the April 9 raid on the office, home and hotel room of Michael Cohen, then-personal attorney to President Donald Trump (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-01466)). The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the Justice Department failed to respond to three separate FOIA requests.
On April 12, 2018, Judicial Watch sought the following from the Office of the Attorney General:
- Any and all records of correspondence and communications between the Office of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the Office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller concerning, regarding, or relating to the April 9, 2018 raids on the office and hotel room of Michael Cohen.”
Also on April 12, 2018, Judicial Watch sent its second FOIA request seeking the following from the Executive Offices for United States Attorneys:
- The Search and Seizure Warrant executed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the office and hotel room of Michael Cohen on April 9, 2018.
- The application for the above-referenced warrant and any affidavits submitted in support of the application
- All records about the recusal of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman from the Michael Cohen investigation.
On May 2, 2018, Judicial Watch submitted its third FOIA request seeking the following from the Department of Justice:
- All records of communications between Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York about Michael Cohen and/or the executed search warrants of Cohen’s office, home, and hotel room.
- All records of communications between Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York about Michael Cohen and/or the executed search warrants of Cohen’s office, home, and hotel room.
On April 9, 2018, the FBI raided the home, office, and hotel room of President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Prosecutors obtained the search warrant after receiving a referral from Special Counsel Mueller’s office conveyed through Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Lawyers for Michael Cohen reportedly completed a review of the over four million seized files from the raids and “found that 12,061 are privileged and shouldn’t be viewed by government lawyers.”
“On its face, the raid on then-President Trump’s lawyer seemed abusive and out of line,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And so it is not surprising that the Mueller Special Counsel and the Justice Department would ignore FOIA law and refuse to respond to our basic requests for information about this extraordinary raid.”