Lawyer under probe

WASHINGTON – The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday raided the offices and home of US President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, law enforcement sources said, in a dramatic new development in a series of probes involving close Mr Trump associates.

Mr Cohen’s lawyer, Stephen M Ryan, said that US prosecutors conducted a search that was partly a referral by the Office of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.

Mr Mueller is investigating whether members of Mr Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia during the US presidential election. Mr Trump has called the probe a “witch hunt” and denied any collusion.

The raid could increase legal pressure on the president, because it involves the records of his longtime attorney and indicates a second centre of investigations in Manhattan, alongside Mr Mueller’s Washington-based probe.

Mr Cohen has been at the centre of a controversy over a $130,000 payment he has admitted making shortly before the 2016 election to porn star Stormy Daniels, who has said that she had sex once with Mr Trump in 2006 and was paid to keep quiet about it.