Trump fumes over Federal Bureau of Investigation raid that targeted payments to women

President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen told ABC News today that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents did not storm in, but simply knocked on the door, as they raided his office, hotel room and home Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump reprised his angry attacks on law enforcement on Tuesday following FBI raids targeting his personal lawyer that were related to a federal investigation into possible collusion by Trump campaign aides with Moscow.

When FBI agents raided Cohen's office, they took records related to payments made to two women who claim to have had affairs with Trump.

A furious Trump, who in the last month has escalated his attacks on Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, said Monday from the White House that it was a "disgrace" that the FBI "broke into" his lawyer's office. His fury was compounded when it surfaced on Tuesday that deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller special counsel past year, personally greenlit the FBI's decision to raid Cohen's property. She too said she was concerned about prosecutors being the first to review the records seized, and would prefer that a third party was brought in to review the documents instead. Michael Cohen has been my personal attorney for a long time, and he is entitled to a presumption of innocence. Cohen's lawyer, Stephen Ryan, declined to comment to The Associated Press on Friday morning. As I've written before, Trump and his legal team have taken nearly every step they could to escalate, rather than quiet, the Clifford story. "... He is the President of the United States".

Tom Harrison, representing Cohen, also floated the idea of a special master being used to review which documents should fall under attorney-client privilege.

The new details on the Cohen raid, first reported by The New York Times, emerged as the president boiled over on Twitter about it and evidence that investigators are zeroing in on his inner circle. Initially, Mueller had requested some records from Cohen while he was with the Trump family company - a position he held for about a decade - yet dropped the request after Cohen pushed back.

Cohen, who has been described as Trump's "fixer", says he's not thrilled about what might come next.

The searches, which Trump denounced on Monday as disgraceful, were a dramatic new development in a series of probes involving associates of the Republican president. Acting with a search warrant, the raid was carried out at least in part based on a referral from Mueller's team to a federal prosecutor in NY.

Instead, it is related to a $130,000 hush payment to the porn star Stormy Daniels by Cohen on behalf of Trump to keep her quiet about an alleged affair ahead of the election. Will the President fire him, and, perhaps, add to whatever obstruction-of-justice case Mueller is already building?

Just five days ago, Trump broke his public silence on Daniels, saying he did not know anything about Cohen's payment to her.

The raid creates a new legal headache for Trump as he and his attorneys weigh whether to agree to an interview with Mueller's team.

Cohen's lawyers said they wanted to go over the communications and separate those they deem privileged before the DOJ can review them. The raid on Cohen's office is viewed by the White House as not showing the President that courtesy, the official said.

  • Salvatore Jensen