Don’t look now, but the FBI has just served notice on someone who is very close to President Trump.
The F.B.I. on Monday raided the office of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, seizing records related to several topics including payments to a pornographic-film actress.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan obtained the search warrant after receiving a referral from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, according to Mr. Cohen’s lawyer, who called the search “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.” The search does not appear to be directly related to Mr. Mueller’s investigation, but likely resulted from information he had uncovered and gave to prosecutors in New York.
“Today the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York executed a series of search warrants and seized the privileged communications between my client, Michael Cohen, and his clients,” said Stephen Ryan, his lawyer. “I have been advised by federal prosecutors that the New York action is, in part, a referral by the Office of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.”
The FBI raided Cohen’s office, home, and hotel room.
CBS's Pat Milton reports the FBI stormed not only Michael Cohen's office, but also his New York residence, seizing documents and other material, as authorized in a search warrant.
— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) April 9, 2018
While Mr. Cohen does have a part in the ongoing Russia investigation, the raids “seem” more closely connected with the ongoing brouhaha involving pornstar Stormy Daniels.
The bureau raided Cohen’s office on Monday and seized records related to several topics, including the $130,000 payment he arranged to adult film star Stormy Daniels days before the election, The New York Times reported.
Daniels says the payment was “hush money” intended to keep her quiet about an alleged affair with Trump.
However, the FBI didn’t just seize documents related to Daniels, they also seized emails, tax documents, and business records.
While the left may leap to conclusions about the FBI raid, those with knowledge of the ongoing situation insist that Mr. Cohen has been cooperating fully with the law enforcement agency and that some of the material seized would be useless for building any case against President Trump as it would be protected information, thanks to our laws regarding attorney-client privilege.
While he has been cooperating, Mr. Cohen is understandably outraged.
— Monica Alba (@albamonica) April 9, 2018
This raid, once again shows the major problem with appointing a “special counsel” like Robert Mueller.
Federal prosecutors were able to get a warrant to use against Mr. Cohen after getting a “referral” from special counsel Mueller. Mueller, you’ll remember, is supposed to be investigating the role that Russia MIGHT have played in the 2016 election. Instead, he’s filed charges against Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Richard Gates and George Papadopoulos… but none of the charges are actually related to any misconduct by the president’s campaign.
Essentially, the American taxpayers are paying millions of dollars for the special counsel to find evidence of crimes, no matter how small, from anyone who may have supported President Trump in 2016.
Needless to say, the President is not happy with situation either.
BREAKING: President Trump says the FBI raid of his personal attorney is a “real disgrace, it’s an attack on our country,” and calls the investigation “a total witch hunt” https://t.co/hcNsBbjpr1 pic.twitter.com/H6tkZWczSq
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) April 9, 2018
WH POOL REPORT 6:19 P.M.
Trump addressed the Cohen raid at the top of the military leadership meeting.
Quick comments: “it’s a disgraceful situation.”
“I have this witch hunt constantly going on.”
“It’s an attack on our country… what we all stand for.”
— Robert Costa (@costareports) April 9, 2018
This has moved beyond ridiculous and is now entering the realm of farce.
It’s time for Mr. Mueller to pack his bags and go home.