Redacted documents related to the search warrants carried out during a raid on Michael Cohen's home and office last year show that the FBI sought and obtained a warrant for Cohen's emails as early as July 2017.

Why it matters: This suggests the FBI's investigation into President Trump's longtime personal attorney was opened far earlier than previously known. The search warrant documents, which run nearly 1,000 pages, were published Tuesday after a federal judge ordered their release earlier this week, citing valid public interest in their contents.

Other highlights:

  • Notably, many of the documents related to Cohen's campaign finance violations are heavily redacted, suggesting that the Southern District of New York's investigation into hush money payments made on behalf of President Trump remains active.
  • Beginning in July 2017, the FBI obtained warrants to search Cohen's emails based on probable cause that — among other things — Cohen was acting as an unregistered foreign agent. This allegation, for which Cohen has never been charged, was previously not known.
  • Independent journalist Marcy Wheeler notes that part of this allegation relates to Cohen's failure to register under the lobbying law FARA, a violation that famously ensnared Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort. This could be related to Cohen's consulting work for foreign companies seeking to gain access to the Trump administration.
  • But Wheeler also notes that a second foreign agent crime listed in the warrants — 18 USC §§ 951 — may not be related to his consulting work. As Lawfare outlines, 951 is a "non-political" foreign agents statute that requires the person to "act as an agent of a government, not of some other entity." It's the same statute under which Russian spy Maria Butina was charged.

Read all the Cohen search warrant documents here.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 a.m. ET: 33,282,969 — Total deaths: 1,000,867 — Total recoveries: 23,066,203Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 a.m. ET: 7,148,009 — Total deaths: 205,069 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Business: Companies are still holding back earnings guidance.
  4. Health: Trump announces plan to distribute 150 million rapid tests —The childless vaccine.
  5. Media: Fauci: Some of what Fox News reports about COVID-19 is "outlandish"
  6. States: Cuomo extends New York moratorium on evictions until 2021.
  7. World: More than 1 million people have now died from coronavirus — India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases.

Bob Woodward: "I was not going to hide" my opinion on Trump

Bob Woodward didn't want to join Senate Republicans in privately condemning President Trump but declining to do so publicly, he told Jonathan Swan in an interview for "Axios on HBO."

Why it matters: Woodward has covered 9 presidents, but Trump is the first that Woodward explicitly described as "the wrong man for the job."

Watch the full Jonathan Swan interview with Bob Woodward

In the latest episode of "Axios on HBO," Jonathan Swan interviews Bob Woodward about his new book, "Rage," which was based on 19 interviews with President Trump.

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