Cohen: FBI Was 'Extremely Professional, Courteous And Respectful' During Raids

The Trump legal team had previously scheduled the meeting, which was part of a series of ongoing negotiations between the Trump team and the Mueller team toward a potential interview with the president.

The raid was "upsetting to say the least", he added.

Trump expressed outrage after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raid earlier this week, calling it a "disgraceful situation" and a "total witch-hunt" during his off-the-cuff remarks to reporters.

For Mr. Trump, the perils are different, former prosecutors said.

The Associated Press reported that the raid was also to search for information about a $150,000 payment by the National Enquirer to Playboy model Karen McDougal, who alleges an affair with Trump, which he denies took place.

Trump reacted to the raid of Michael Cohen by calling it a "witch hunt" and "an attack to our country".

Trump lashed out at the Federal Bureau of Investigation following the raid, calling it a "disgrace" and a "pure and simple witch hunt".

Investigators were also looking into whether there was a broader pattern of tax fraud, wire fraud, tax evasion, money laundering and other crimes in Cohen's private dealings, including his work for Trump and some real estate transactions that involved Russian buyers and prices that appeared to be well above market values, the source said. "He's uniquely situated to have interesting paperwork about the President".

Cohen started in the cab business in the 1990s while working as a personal-injury lawyer, years before he joined the Trump Organization.

"I am unhappy to have my personal residence and office raided", Cohen told CNN by phone. On the tape, Trump tells an Access Hollywood reporter that he just starts kissing women, "and when you're a star, they let you do it". We will, of course, have to wait to see how this all unfolds. Passing off the information shows Mueller's discipline and his focus on the probe, rather than the Trump-Daniels litigation. McDougal additionally claims she'd sexual relations with Trump even though he was married to his wife, Melania Trump.

The high stakes of the case were underscored by the involvement of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who personally approved the move to seek a search warrant for Cohen's records, which included raids Monday on his home and office, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation.

Raids such as the one conducted Monday are unusual because federal prosecutors need to follow special guidelines to justify searches of an attorney's offices.

Cohen's attorney, Stephen Ryan, confirmed to CNN that Cohen's office was raided as well as his home and the Loews Regency hotel where he was staying. Only documents that are not protected by that privilege will be handed over to investigators.

Watchdog groups, including Common Cause, had lodged complaints with Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission about the Daniels' payment months before Avenatti's lawsuit.

He went on to say he is confident Cohen will "fold like a cheap deck of cards". If Mr. Cohen misled banks about the objective of such transactions, he could face charges of bank fraud.

In January, CNN reported that the chief judge in New York's Southern District had sent a letter to fellow judges laying out the prospect that, after the 120-day period, the possible appointment of the Manhattan US attorney would fall to the district court.

  • Leroy Wright