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.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
23 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Tallying Trump's climate changes

Reproduced from Rhodium Climate Service; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Trump administration's scuttling or weakening of key Obama-era climate policies could together add 1.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent to the atmosphere by 2035, a Rhodium Group analysis concludes.

Why it matters: The 1.8 gigatons is "more than the combined energy emissions of Germany, Britain and Canada in one year," per the New York Times, which first reported on the study.

Boeing's one-two punch

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX was the worst crisis in the plane-maker’s century-long history. At least until the global pandemic hit.

Why it matters: Wall Street expects it will be cleared to fly again before year-end. Orders for what was once the company’s biggest moneymaker were expected to rebound after the ungrounding, but now the unprecedented slump in travel will dash airlines’ appetite for the MAX and any other new planes, analysts say — putting more pressure on the hard-hit company.

New downloads of TikTok, WeChat to be blocked in U.S. on Sunday

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Commerce Department issued Friday an order blocking new downloads of WeChat and TikTok in the U.S. as of Sept. 20.

The state of play: President Trump has been in a standoff with TikTok, threatening to ban the app if its Chinese owner, ByteDance, does not relinquish control to a U.S. company. A deal is in the works with the American tech company Oracle, but would need to go through before Sunday to prevent TikTok from being ousted from app stores.