Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein personally approved the FBI’s raid of the office of Michael Cohen, who is President Trump’s personal attorney, according to a report from The New York Times.
In the raid signed off by Rosenstein, the FBI seized emails, tax documents and other pieces of evidence, some of which are related to the $130,000 payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels in an alleged attempt to keep her quiet about an affair she had with Trump over a decade ago. The payment was reportedly made during the run-up to the 2016 election.
In a statement this Monday, Cohen’s attorney Stephen Ryan said the search was “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.”
The Washington Post has reported that Cohen is being investigated for possible tax fraud and bank fraud, along with campaign finance violations.
Speaking to reporters at the White House this Monday, Trump slammed the FBI raid as a “pure and simple witch hunt.”
It’s a real disgrace,” Trump told reporters as he sat between Vice President Pence and national security adviser John Bolton. “It’s an attack on our country in a true sense. It’s an attack on what we all stand for.”
The developments have renewed speculation that Trump may be thinking about firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
“We’ll see what happens,” Trump said, according to The Hill. “Many people have said ‘you should fire [Mueller]. Again, they found nothing and in finding nothing, that’s a big statement.”
But the prospect of firing Mueller is complicated by the fact that Trump would need the approval of Rosenstein.
As The New York Times reported in January, Trump attempted to fire Mueller last year but the White House Counsel refused to carry out the act.
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