Combs' lawyer calls federal raid 'witch hunt' and 'gross overuse of military-level force'

Tuesday, March 26, 2024
Sean Combs' lawyer calls federal raid 'witch hunt'
Speaking for the first time publicly after a federal raid at his properties in Los Angeles and Miami, an attorney for Sean "Diddy" Combs blasted the investigation as a "witch hunt."

HOLMBY HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Speaking for the first time publicly after a federal raid at his properties in Los Angeles and Miami, an attorney for Sean "Diddy" Combs blasted the investigation as a "witch hunt" that employed a "gross overuse of military-level force."

Attorney Aaron Dyer, who represents Combs, said the accusations against his client are "meritless" and he has not been arrested.

Dyer's statement read in full:

"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."

The statement came a day after federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations seized a number of electronic devices as part of the court-authorized searches of Combs' two properties, law enforcement sources told ABC News.

The searches, carried out in Los Angeles and Miami, were part of a federal sex trafficking investigation into the hip-hop and liquor mogul, the sources said.

HSI agents flooded Diddy's mansion in Holmby Hills and gathered evidence as part of an investigation led by prosecutors with the Southern District of New York.

Four women have filed civil lawsuits against Combs accusing him of rape, sex trafficking and other alleged abuses. He has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.

Sean "Diddy" Combs and singer Cassie said that they've settled a lawsuit containing allegations of beatings and abuse by the powerful music producer one day after it was filed.

Several women have spoken with federal prosecutors in Manhattan, the sources said, who dispatched agents to try and gather evidence to corroborate their accounts.

In a statement to ABC News on Monday, an HSI spokesperson said the searches were executed "as part of an ongoing investigation" by HSI Los Angeles, HSI Miami and local law enforcement.

Law enforcement sources familiar with the matter said the searches were carried out at Combs' properties as part of a federal investigation led by the Southern District of New York into alleged human trafficking.

No criminal charges have been filed in the investigation.

Combs' sons were detained outside his Westside L.A. home while the search warrant was being executed, as is customary in such circumstances, law enforcement sources said.

Combs is among the most influential hip-hop producers and executives of the past three decades. Formerly known as Puff Daddy, he built one of hip-hop's biggest empires, blazing a trail with several entities attached to his famous name. He is the founder of Bad Boy Records and a three-time Grammy winner who has worked with a slew of top-tier artists including Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, Usher, Lil Kim, Faith Evans and 112.

Combs created the fashion clothing line Sean John, launched the Revolt TV channel with a focus on music, and produced the reality show "Making the Band" for MTV.

His latest album, "The Love Album - Off the Grid," was released last year days after Combs was honored at the MTV VMAs. It was nominated for best progressive R&B album at February's Grammy Awards, which the rapper-mogul did not attend.

ABC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.