Yesterday, the FBI stormed the office and hotel room of President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, which led to comments from the White House that are the most direct threat yet to fire special counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and shut down the investigation.
Federal agents carrying court-authorized search warrants have seized documents from Trump’s personal attorney.Michael Cohen—the same man who paid $130,000 to hush up Stormy Daniels, a porn star who claims she had a sexual tryst with the President days after his youngest son was born.
Cohen is under investigation for bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations and he has been under heavy public scrutiny in recent months for his payment of $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had an affair with Trump in the mid-2000s.
The information leading to this raid sprang from Mueller’s independent investigation into the Trump team’s connection to Russian efforts to interfere with our elections and Trump’s obstruction of justice—a probe that has already yielded multiple guilty pleas, dozens of indictments, and is closing in on Trump’s closest allies.
Agents arrived at 9:15 a.m. at the 30 Rockefeller Center offices of Squire Patton Boggs, where they inconspicuously searched Cohen’s office space over the course of a few hours. The FBI took Cohen’s emails, tax documents and business records from his office.
Cohen’s attorney says the search warrants were executed by the office of the US Attorney for Southern District of New York, but they are ‘‘in part’’ related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Trump called the FBI raid a “disgrace” and accused the law enforcement of “breaking in” to Cohen’s office despite the issuance of a warrant based on evidence reviewed and approved by a federal judge in New York..
“Trump is fuming. And following his comments tonight, Washington is on heightened alert for him to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller’s investigation, or Mueller himself,” said Jo Comerford, of MoveOn.org. “Make no mistake: Firing Rosenstein would constitute a brazen attempt by Trump to obstruct the investigation. It would be akin to Richard Nixon’s ‘Saturday Night Massacre’ during Watergate. If Trump fires Rosenstein—which is looking increasingly likely—he’ll cross a red line—which is why we must prepare NOW to take immediate action.”
MoveOn.org Civic Action is one of several groups that is planning a nationwide response if Trump attempts to derail the investigation into potentially treasonous conduct related to his campaign.
A source familiar with the situation said agents visited Cohen’s office in New York at the law firm Squire Patton Boggs, which represents .
Angelo Kakolyris, a spokesman for Squire Patton Boggs, said, “The firm’s arrangement with Mr. Cohen reached its conclusion, mutually and in accordance with the terms of the agreement.”
“We have been in contact with federal authorities regarding their execution of a warrant relating to Mr. Cohen,” he continued. “These activities do not relate to the firm and we are in full cooperation.”
Cohen had formed a strategic alliance to develop business with the law firm a year ago after leaving the Trump Organization’s umbrella. The law firm does not represent Cohen or Trump.
Squire Patton Boggs is among a growing line-up of legal advisers involved in the scandal engulfing Cambridge Analytica, the London-based political consulting firm, which suspended CEO Alexander Nix after he was caught on film discussing unscrupulous political campaigning tactics, that is under-fire facing intense scrutiny over Facebook data harvesting.
The law firm also represents Russian banks and oil firms, among other clients from its Moscow office.
Cohen’s attorney, Stephen Ryan, released a statement confirming the search, saying, “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. 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.”
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