18:47, April 10 141 0 abajournal.com

2018-04-10 18:47:05
Manhattan US attorney reportedly recused himself in Michael Cohen probe before FBI raid

ABC News broke the news that Berman had recused himself and was not involved in the search decision. Its story, based on two anonymous sources, said the recusal was approved by senior Justice Department officials who report to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

USA Today followed with its own story on the recusal, which was based on one anonymous source.

The FBI reportedly sought records about two women who received payments after claiming they had affairs with Trump. Cohen said he paid one of the women, Stormy Daniels, $130,000, while the publisher of the National Enquirer reportedly paid former playmate Karen McDougal $150,000 to catch and kill her story.

In an unusual move, Trump had personally interviewed Berman for the U.S. Attorney job, Business Insider points out, referring to an October report by Politico. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand had vowed to block any formal nomination of Berman in January, after Berman’s interim appointment, because of the personal interview by Trump, the New York Times previously reported.

Gillibrand had cited possible conflicts of interest stemming from Berman’s potential jurisdiction over matters that could affect the president personally.

Before his interim appointment, Berman was a shareholder in Greenberg Traurig, where Trump ally Rudy Giuliani is also a shareholder.

Hat tip to Above the Law.