WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump lashed out at reports that the FBI raided the office and hotel room of his personal attorney Michael Cohen, calling it “a disgraceful situation” and “a total witch hunt.”
Cohen, longtime attorney for the Trump Organization, is being investigated for possible bank fraud, according to the New York Times, and there were reports that the search involved records related to Cohen’s $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels in October, 2016. Cohen’s attorney, Stephen Ryan, said in a statement that prosecutors “executed a series of search warrants and seized the privileged communications” between Cohen and his clients.
“It’s an attack on our country, in a true sense,” Trump told reporters early on Monday evening. “It’s an attack on what we all stand for.” He said it was a “whole new level of unfairness.”
Ryan said in his statement that the search warrant is part of a referral by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump’s campaign colluded in any way with Russian sources.
Trump claimed that the FBI “broke into” Cohen’s office, although Ryan said the agents were acting on search warrants. He also lashed out at Mueller’s investigation, saying, “they find no collusion, and then they go from there and they say, ‘Well, let’s keep it going.'” He called Mueller’s team “the most conflicted group of people I’ve ever seen.” He also again criticized his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, for recusing himself from the Russia investigation last year.
His remarks again raised concerns that Trump would move to fire Mueller.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said “the investigation is critical to the health of our democracy and must be allowed to continue.”
Trump told reporters on Friday that he was unaware of the $130,000 payment to Daniels, and Cohen has said he paid that amount with his own resources. Daniels claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006.