The aggressive tactics by prosecutors drew the president's ire. "It's an attack on what we all stand for", Trump said before a security briefing at the White House on Monday. Indeed, on Monday evening, Trump said it was "a disgrace what's going on".
Trump was also heavily critical of Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from any Russian Federation investigation a year ago, as well as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller in May. He noted that he has been urged to fire the special counsel, calling Mueller's investigators "the most biased group of people". The U.S. attorney's office had no comment. Cohen has said he threw away the plan, given to him by a former Trump business partner.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, says she had sexual relations with Trump in 2006 and was paid to keep quiet about it. Trump told reporters last week that he did not know about it.
It was mostly left to others to defend Trump in court. Blumenthal, appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe", speculated that the raid against Cohen was related to potential obstruction of justice, money laundering, or wire or bank fraud.
That's according to a report Tuesday from the New York Times.
As the Mueller probe has widened since its start in May 2017, senior members of the U.S. Congress have repeatedly warned Trump not to fire the special counsel.
Rosenstein then alerted the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of NY, which looked at the same material and decided they needed to act and quickly.
Cohen's lawyer, Stephen Ryan, said the court-ordered search warrants were "completely inappropriate and unnecessary" and resulted in the seizure of material protected by attorney-client privilege.
Prosecutors from the Southern District came to the criminal division at the Justice Department in Washington to sign off on the warrants, as required by the US Attorney's Manual, according to the source, and Rosenstein was made aware of the warrants before they were executed Monday.
Cohen is one of Trump's closest associates and was an early advocate of his political aspirations.
President Trump is either very mad, or very scared, or both.
Trump claimed on Thursday not to know where the money Cohen used came from, ignored a question about whether he ever set up a fund that Cohen could draw from and directed further inquiries to the attorney himself.
After Buzzfeed past year published the contents of the Russian "dossier", Cohen in January sued the publication and a consulting firm, Fusion GPS, that produced it because the document alleged that he met with a Russian official in Prague, among claims about possible collusion between Russia and the campaign. "The less the president said on this whole thing, the better off he would be, the stronger his presidency would be", Republican US Senator Chuck Grassley said in an interview on the Fox Business Network. "These activities do not relate to the firm and we are in full cooperation".
Last week, Trump denied knowing about the payment. They include allegations that the $130,000 Cohen has acknowledged paying Daniels days before the presidential election amounted to an illegal, excessive campaign contribution. It was the first time he had addressed the issue publicly. He rejected the idea that the payment should have counted as a campaign contribution.
We also know that a search warrant, unlike a grand jury subpoena, requires prosecutors to go before a federal judge to demonstrate probable cause that a crime has been committed and evidence of that crime can be found in the premises to be searched. "I think maybe Trump has met his match in this guy".
A spokesman for Mueller's office did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
According to regulations, Mueller must consult Rosenstein, who oversees the probe, when he comes across information that is not related to the investigation.
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