A federal judge in California has not thrown out a search warrant and evidence collected in an FBI raid on the New York office of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, as online reports claimed.
The Daily World Update satire site appeared to be the first to run a story that Judge Earl Manuel Mariano of the Northern California 43rd Circuit Federal and State Court of Appeals issued the decision. Others then shared the material, which alleged the judge ruled the evidence was illegal and inadmissible, without saying it was satire. In reality, there is no federal judge by that name. And there is no such court, either.
Agents did search Cohen's Manhattan office, seizing records on topics including the lawyer's $130,000 payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels in 2016.
The Daily World story claimed anything agents seized "is therefore malifecient malifescutis and fruit of the poisonous loin." Those aren't legal terms, although one is similar to "fruit of the poisonous tree," a term for evidence obtained illegally.
The story notes a clerk wrote the ruling because the judge was "coincidentally vacationing at Trump Resorts Hawaii" and wanted something good written as a politically motivated favor. There is a hotel called Trump International Hotel Waikiki, but there is no Trump Resorts Hawaii.
This is part of The Associated Press' ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.