Federal prosecutors used a new law signed by Trump to go after his former fixer Michael Cohen, court filings reveal.
Investigators in the Southern District of New York obtained a search warrant to access Cohen’s Gmail account in February 2018. Google turned over some documents, but the tech giant “declined to produce data that it stored on computer servers located outside of the United States,” according to an affidavit submitted to the court by an FBI agent working on Cohen’s case.
Weeks later, Trump signed the CLOUD Act into law, which gave US law enforcement more legal pathways to pursue data stories overseas. The provision was tucked into the $1.3 trillion spending bill Trump signed to avoid a federal government shutdown.
With the new law on the books, federal prosecutors went back to court in and asked for another warrant to get the materials that Google refused to turn over.
In an April 2018 affidavit, the FBI agent argued that “providers are required to disclose data even if it is stored abroad” under the new law. The judge approved the new search warrant later that day, giving investigators access to additional information from Google, including Cohen’s emails, attachments, address book and files stored on Google Drive.