The president calls it a “disgraceful situation … I have this witch hunt constantly going on.” An expert called the search warrants requested by special counsel Robert Mueller “an incredibly aggressive move.”
After FBI agents executed search warrants on the law office and apartment of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen, Trump called it “disgraceful situation. … I’ve been saying it for a long time. I have this witch hunt constantly going on.” The raids on Cohen, overseen by the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York City, strike deeper into Trump’s inner circle than any of the myriad legal actions brought by special Russia prosecutor Robert Mueller, reports Politico. Cohen is among the loyal cohort that worked for Trump long before his campaign and remains close to the president. He told Vanity Fair last year that he’s “the guy who protects the president and the family. I’m the guy who would take a bullet for the president.” An attorney for Cohen, Stephen Ryan, said federal investigators had executed search warrants and seized records after a “referral” from special counsel Robert Mueller. The FBI action on Monday came amid a swirl of questions about Cohen’s role in a variety of matters related to Trump, including a pre-election payment of $130,000 to Stormy Daniels, an adult film star who claimed to have had an affair with Trump. Cohen has also come under scrutiny by congressional investigators looking into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Cohen’s attorney faulted the use of search warrants to seize attorney records, an unusual tactic because of the danger of intrusion on material protected by attorney-client privilege. Trump again on Monday did not rule out the possibility that he might fire Mueller. “This is an incredibly aggressive move,” said Ross Garber, a government investigations specialist with the law firm Goodwin Proctor. “I would be very concerned if I were the president and Mr. Cohen. Senior DOJ officials must think they are on very sound footing.”