Raids of Diddy's properties signal federal prosecutors in New York are confident in case: expert

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, March 29, 2024
Electronic devices seized in sex trafficking investigation against Sean 'Diddy' Combs
Darla Miles has more on the investigation against Sean 'Diddy' Combs.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The searches of two homes belonging to hip-hop mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs were meant to find evidence to corroborate accounts of his accusers and are a sign federal prosecutors in New York, who are leading the investigation, are confident in the case they're building.

"The fact that they are taking this aggressive step tells me they have cooperative victims and they're moving quickly to make a case," said Rebekah Donaleski, a partner at Cooley LLP and a former federal prosecutor who supervised the successful prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein's paramour Ghislaine Maxwell.

Prosecutors have interviewed a number of Diddy's accusers, including those who filed civil lawsuits, law enforcement sources familiar with the matter have told ABC News. The next step is trying to corroborate everything those accusers said.

"Any innocuous detail that you can corroborate that's what you're trying to do," Donaleski said. "Perpetrators keep mementos. They keep photos, videos, things like that."

Federal agents from Homeland Security Investigations seized computers and other electronic devices at Diddy's homes in Los Angeles and Miami, the sources have said, as they look for photos, videos or other evidence that accusers might have spoken of during interviews.

Authorities walk on a street near a property belonging to Sean "Diddy" Combs' on Monday, March 25, 2024, in Los Angeles.
AP Photo/Eric Thayer

"A search, especially one that is this high profile, signals they have confidence they have strong evidence and the speed with which they have moved tells me the evidence is compelling," Donaleski said.

Sources have described the investigation as focused on possible sex trafficking offenses or violations of the Travel Act, which prohibits interstate or foreign travel for the purposes of a sex act.

An attorney for Combs said the mogul was cooperative and spoke to authorities.

The lawyer said Combs is "innocent and will continue to fight every single day to clear his name." The attorney complained of an "excessive show of force and hostility" on the part of authorities during the searches.

See the full statement below:

"Yesterday, there was a gross overuse of military-level force as search warrants were executed at Mr. Combs' residences. There is no excuse for the excessive show of force and hostility exhibited by authorities or the way his children and employees were treated. Mr. Combs was never detained but spoke to and cooperated with authorities. Despite media speculation, neither Mr. Combs nor any of his family members have been arrested nor has their ability to travel been restricted in any way. This unprecedented ambush -- paired with an advanced, coordinated media presence -- leads to a premature rush to judgment of Mr. Combs and is nothing more than a witch hunt based on meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits. There has been no finding of criminal or civil liability with any of these allegations. Mr. Combs is innocent and will continue to fight every single day to clear his name."

Combs spoke through his attorney Tuesday saying that he is innocent and is fighting to clear his name.


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