UPDATED: 2019-03-20 12 PM
Court filings reveal that federal prosecutors used a new law Trump signed to collect data from his former attorney and “fixer,” Michael Cohen.
Southern District of New York Investigators obtained search warrants to Cohen’s Gmail account in February of 2019. The documents were turned over by Google, but the search engine company “declined to produce data that it stored on computer servers located outside of the United States,” according to an FBI agent’s affidavit who was working on Cohen’s case.
Just a few weeks later, Trump signed into law the CLOUD Act, giving US law enforcement more legal precedent to pursue overseas data — like that of Cohen’s email stored on international servers. This provision was tucked into the $1.3 trillion spending bill Trump signed to avoid a second government shutdown under his administration.
With this new governance, the federal prosecutors returned to court, asking for another warrant to get the remaining Cohen materials.
An April 2018 affidavit provided by the FBI agent argued that “providers are required to disclose data even if it is stored abroad” under the new law. The Court approved a new search warrant later that day, granting the access investigators needed to obtain the additional information from Google — to include Cohen’s emails, attachments, address book and files stored on Google Drive.