FBI sought records of Trump 'Access Hollywood' tape in raid of president's lawyer Michael Cohen
- FBI agents sought communications related to the infamous Trump "Access Hollywood" tape when they raided the office and hotel of lawyer Michael Cohen, NBC News reported.
- On that tape, Trump is heard boasting to host Billy Bush about groping women without their consent.
- Agents also seized records relating to a $130,000 payment Cohen made porn star Stormy Daniels right before the presidential election.
FBI agents searched for communications related to the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape involving President Donald Trump when they raided the New York City office and hotel room of Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
Investigators looked for communications between Trump and Cohen about the now-infamous tape, NBC News reported, citing a person with knowledge of the legal proceedings.
The tape, which came to light just a month before the 2016 presidential election, revealed Trump and then-"Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush talking in lewd terms about women in 2005.
The New York Times first reported the story on Wednesday.
The Times said that a search warrant executed on Cohen's property on Monday also was seeking evidence about whether he tried to suppress damaging information about Trump during the presidential campaign.
The FBI was acting as part of a probe related to Cohen by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, who were acting on a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election as well as potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Trump has repeatedly denied that he either colluded or obstructed justice.
He condemned the raid against Cohen as a "disgrace" and claimed it was a violation of attorney-client privilege.
Exposure of the "Access Hollywood" tape, on which Trump is heard bragging about grabbing women without their consent, caused a sensation and led to speculation that it would doom his candidacy.
"I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p----. You can do anything," Trump told Bush on the tape. As the campaign was headed into the home stretch, Trump recorded a video in which he apologized for making the remarks.
It was already known that FBI agents seized records relating to a $130,000 payment that Cohen made porn star Stormy Daniels three weeks after the "Access Hollywood" tape came to light, and shortly before Election Day.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said that she was paid that money in exchange for her agreement to remain silent about an affair she had with Trump that began in 2006. The White House has denied such an affair.
FBI agents were also looking for documents in Cohen's possession related to payments made to another woman who claims she had an affair with Trump, Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Stephen Ryan, Cohen's attorney, told CNBC on Wednesday that he was making no statement on the case.
"Access Hollywood," which is an entertainment news show, is now known as "Access." It is aired by NBCUniversal Television, which like CNBC is a division of NBC Universal.
Bush was fired from his job at NBC's "Today" Show after the tape with Trump came to light.
Bush told CNBC on Wednesday that he was unaware of the Times story about FBI agents being interested in the tape during their raid of Cohen.
"I have not been contacted" by federal investigators, Bush said.
CNBC has reached out for comment from both NBC Entertainment and "Access."