Trump slams 'witch hunt' as his lawyer's office is raided

Attorney Michael Cohen arrives at Trump Tower for meetings with then President-elect Donald Trump in December 2016

Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators met with members of President Donald Trump's legal team on the same day that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was launching a raid targeting the President's personal attorney, according to sources familiar with the matter.

That's according to a report Tuesday from The New York Times.

The special counsel is also probing a $150 000 payment Ukrainian billionaire steel magnate Victor Pinchuk made during the United States presidential campaign to Trump's foundation for the American real estate developer to give a 20-minute speech via video link, according to The New York Times. AMI has said she was paid to become a fitness columnist.

Adult film star #Stormy Daniels has been in the media a lot lately, with the details of her affair with US President #Donald Trump and all of his kinks and sexual pleasures becoming journalistic gold.

Monday's high-profile raid on Cohen's offices, home and hotel room mark the latest twist in a legal drama that experts say could pose serious risks for Cohen and Trump alike. He called Mueller's investigation "an attack on our country", prompting new speculation that he might seek the removal of the Justice Department's special counsel. "And I thanked them at the conclusion".

Among them: Trump's comments to reporters last week, denying knowledge of the Daniels payment or the source of the hush money.

The unusual step of searching the office was partly instigated by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading an inquiry into allegations that Mr Trump's team colluded with Russian Federation to help him win the election.

"Today the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY executed a series of search warrants and seized the privileged communications between my client, Michael Cohen, and his clients", Cohen's attorney Stephen M. Ryan of McDermott Will & Emery, Washington, said in an April 9 statement.

Attorney Stephen Ryan, who represents Cohen, called the action "completely inappropriate and unnecessary".

In fact, attorney-client privilege is not absolute and can't be invoked when the discussion was part of an effort to commit a crime.

An aide said Justice Department guidance that only Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein could fire Mueller was no more than guidance and did not apply to Trump, who has the authority to fire anyone in the executive branch.


Last week, Trump himself denied knowing anything about the payment made by Cohen to Daniels, a payment allegedly created to silence Daniels about her previous relationship with Trump, keeping the affair story out of the press in the run-up to the 2016 presidential vote.

The fraud claims prompted speculation that he may have misled banks over the reason for the large payment, made shortly before the president won the 2016 USA election.

McConnell also tells reporters he doesn't believe Mueller will be removed. The search was authorized by a judge and no evidence suggests it was carried out improperly.

MARIOTTI: Well, for any warrants, prosecutors have to obtain evidence that shows that there was a good reason to believe a crime occurred and that evidence of that crime was at the place that they're searching. Getting a warrant to search an attorney's office is not easy.

In this case, Mueller opted to refer the matter to federal prosecutors in Manhattan. All the while, Mueller and his investigators have spent hours questioning White House officials about whether the president had sought to obstruct justice. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Her cooperation was first reported by NBC News.

Cohen has more recently attracted attention for his acknowledgment that he paid Daniels out of his own pocket shortly before the 2016 presidential election.

Asked why he had not fired Mueller, Trump left the door open.

Cohen, who has been described as Trump's "fixer", says he's not thrilled about what might come next. Last week, Trump told the White House press pool that he wasn't aware of the payment at the time it was made. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she had sex with Trump in 2006.

Daniels got $US130,000 ($NZ176,000) from Cohen in exchange for signing a non-disclosure agreement concerning her relationship with Trump.

(My colleague Amy Davidson Sorkin wrote about Trump's initial reaction to the raid.) It's pretty clear, though, that such an option is very much on his mind. He sent similar demand letters to two banks, City National and First Republic, asking they preserve documents connected to the transaction. In the email, the representative said funds had been deposited in Cohen's account.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Trump to skip South America summit to focus on Syria
Last month, the host country Peru appointed a new president after Pedro Pablo Kuczynski abruptly resigned over graft allegations. In that time, however, he has undertaken more distant trips to Europe, Asia and the Middle East on several occassions.

BJP releases list of 72 candidates for Karnataka elections
"We have announced a list of 72 candidates on Sunday night; on Wednesday another list of 65-70 candidates will bereleased". Eshwarappa from Shivamogga, Jagadish Shettar from Hubli-Dharwad Central, Basavaraj Bommai from Shiggaon, C.M.

Facebook experts weigh in on scandal before Zuckerberg testimony
In the beginning, it was reported the political consultancy firm had come in possession of data from 50 million Facebook accounts. In prepared remarks released by a House committee, Zuckerberg said the company has notified all users affected in the scandal.

Ray Lewis: Odell Beckham Jr Has 'Removed God from His Life'
Again, we already started communicating before all that communication kind of got out there and was talked about to a great deal. So, that's why I raised my hand, and I told him , 'I'm here.

WWE Wrestlemania 34 Results: Undertaker Vs. John Cena Highlights
WWE did their best to keep us on our toes, but when Cena was yanked from the stands an ran backstage, we knew the fix was in. In some occasions, the Undertaker's brother, Kane had responded on behalf of his brother but Cena remained unsatisfied.

Cicilline: Trump firing of Mueller would 'obstruct justice'
Last June, Trump tried to order Mueller's termination, but backed off after White House counsel Don McGahn threatened to resign. Mueller is already examining Russian collusion in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by Trump.

Border states pledge 1600 troops for President Trump's border fight
In California, Brown's spokesman, Evan Westrup, said Monday that state officials are still reviewing Trump's troop request. The Republican Ducey in a tweet Monday said more of the state's Guard members will be deployed on Tuesday.

Iran warns Trump of "stronger response" if nuclear deal dropped
The US, even prior to Donald Trump arriving in the White House in January 2018, was accused by the Iranian government of throttling banking transactions.

Conte says West Ham draw sums up Chelsea's season
Just three minutes later, the Mexican would net his ninth goal against the Blues, firing home from a Marko Arnautovic cut-back. Hazard came close to ending that streak when he made a penetrating run to the edge of the area and flashed a shot just wide.

Trump Says Believes China to Take Down Trade Barriers
On Friday, Kudlow said that the USA and China are holding "back-channel discussions" to resolve the escalating trade dispute. The Chinese government says its tariffs are specifically in response to the USA trade measures against steel and aluminum.

Bayern win record-extending 6th straight Bundesliga title
Ribery celebrated his 35th birthday with a cameo appearance for the final eight minutes before Wagner headed in Bayern's fourth. Goalkeeper Seven Ulreich made a parry but Niklas Suele deflected the rebound into the wrong goal with 18 minutes played.

Antonio Conte makes startling admission about Chelsea
Antonio Conte has told Chelsea to be realistic about the prospect of playing in the Europa League next season. Although he has one more year on his contract, few expect to see him in charge of Chelsea come August.

India, Nepal to boost agricultural ties for benefits of farmers
The plan to develop inland waterways would give landlocked Nepal much-needed access to sea, boosting its exports. In 2016, Oli had accused India of breaking up a fragile coalition he was heading and forcing him to quit.

Meghan promises Sydney trip to Invictus Games after watching trials with Harry
While the reported performers are all British talents, it is not implausible for Jennifer Hudson to get the royal gig. The film is helmed by award-winning Bengali-British director Menhaj Huda (also the maker of hit TV series The Royals).

RBI cracks down on digital currencies, plans own cryptocurrency
For the foreign leg of the transaction, if any, the data can also be stored in the foreign country, if required, the RBI said. Thursday's announcement raised concerns about the exit options for investors who now hold cryptocurrencies.

Other news