Michael Cohen, left, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, speaks to the media on September 19, 2017. But the fact that the agents were seeking documents related to the tape reveals a new front in the investigation into Mr. Cohen that is being led by the United States attorney's office in Manhattan.
The attorney's Midtown office and a Park Ave. hotel room where Cohen was staying were both targeted by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents with warrants.
But if officials believe an attorney could destroy the evidence, they can apply for a search warrant signed by the U.S. Attorney or Assistant Attorney General.
An attorney for the president, Joanna Hendon, appeared as well, telling the judge that Trump has "an acute interest in these proceedings and the manner in which these materials are reviewed". He's confessed paying $130,000 to Ms. Clifford, a film performer called Stormy Daniels, " he said she experienced a sexual experience with Mr. Trump.
Mr. Trump, who had been planning to make a choice this week about whether or not to sit down with the distinctive counsel to an interview, has since taken a more adversarial tone towards Mr. Mueller considering that the warrant was implemented on Monday. I think the public is a close second.
McKay, the assistant USA attorney, told the judge that he believed the proceedings were an attempt to delay the processing of seized material.
Trump's "attorney-client privilege is no different" than any other citizen, McKay said.
Cohen's lawyers, Todd Harrison and Joseph Evans, rejected that argument in a legal memo. Prosecutors can also obtain privileged communications between an attorney and client if they have evidence those interactions further a crime or fraud.
Cohen wasn't present for the hearing.
"When you're a star, they let you do it", Trump says in the video, speaking to "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush. In addition to the payment Cohen has said he made to Daniels, there's another payment to a Playboy playmate and the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape in which Trump bragged about grabbing women's genitals.
None of those emails, they added, was exchanged with Trump.
Clifford's lawyer, Michael Avenatti, spoke briefly in court.
"We have every reason to believe that some of the documents seized relate to my client", he said.
Avenatti said it's "very possible" that the porn actress would show up at Monday's hearing.
The warrant indicates that federal prosecutors may be examining interactions Trump might have had with his longtime attorney about tamping down unflattering stories as he sought to win the White House.