FBI Raids Office of Trump’s Lawyer
The office and hotel room of President Trump’s lawyer Michael D. Cohen were raided on Monday by the FBI, increasing scrutiny about the Russia investigation and Trump’s past extra-marital affairs. The raid set off a Twitter tirade by the president, who fumed that “Attorney–client privilege is dead!” and called the investigation “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!!”
A federal judge obtained the search warrants through Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York, according to CNN, and the raid was approved by deputy attorney general Rod J. Rosenstein, a Republican. The report stated that the agents were seeking information regarding payments made to ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal and pornographic film star Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, both of whom claim to have had affairs with Trump.
Cohen confirmed in February that he made a $130,000 payment to Clifford in exchange for her silence leading up to the 2016 election, but claimed the payment was from his own money.
The FBI also obtained business records, tax documents and emails during the search, according to another New York Times report. Though the raid was not orchestrated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, New York prosecutors may share their findings with him if they pertain to his investigation.
“We are in pretty treacherous territory here,” said CNN senior political analyst David Gergen. "They must have been able to present evidence that was hugely compelling to take a step like this."
Trump’s anger over the raid led to speculation that he may fire Mueller, a decision that both Republican and Democrat officials say would create further turmoil for his presidency, wrote the Times.
“We’ll see what may happen. Many people have said you should fire him,” said Trump, who called the raid an “attack on our country in a true sense.”