Trump fumes over Federal Bureau of Investigation raid

Trump fumes over Federal Bureau of Investigation raid

Cohen says he's still loyal to the president but he would have handled the payment differently because of how it has affected his family. New reporting this afternoon says Daniels is now cooperating with federal investigators.

MARTIN: Let me ask you, in seconds remaining, what does it mean that this raid originated from special counsel Robert Mueller, but it was an order actually executed by the USA attorney's office in NY and not the Mueller investigation?

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has said repeatedly that Trump denies Clifford's allegations.

Under Justice Department regulations, only Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the Russian Federation investigation, can fire Mueller.

White House lawyers Ty Cobb and Donald McGahn have been telling Trump that firing Mueller would leave the president vulnerable to charges of obstruction of justice and have said that he must have "good cause" to order Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to oust Mueller, the officials said on Tuesday.

New York-born Cohen, 51, first connected with Trump when he bought a unit in a Trump condominium building in 2001. Months later, McDougal said that in 2016 she had sold a story about her alleged affair with Trump to the National Enquirer but that the newspaper had bought it only to bury the story because they had a relationship with Trump.

The U.S. Attorney's Office involvement may be a courtesy because the search is in their district, he said.

A source familiar with the matter said agents were looking in Monday's raids for information on payments to adult-film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Trump on Monday reacted with anger to the raids on Cohen, calling the actions - which were carried out with search warrants approved by a judge - "an attack on our country in a true sense".

Some White House allies think that this one, like numerous administration's pockets of turbulence, was brought on by Trump himself - specifically, by comments he made last week aboard Air Force One, when he claimed he had no knowledge of the payment Cohen made to Daniels, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

The raid came as Mueller's probe intensifies its focus on Trump's inner circle. Besides Cohen's office, agents also searched a hotel room where he's been staying while his home is under renovation.

If both the lawyer and the client insisted that Trump had no idea that Cohen had made the payment, they can not assert that those activities were protected by attorney-client privilege, legal experts said.

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Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a friend of Trump, called the Cohen raids "a little heavy-handed".

"The prosecutors who reviewed those materials in the first instance were not prosecutors who worked on any case involving Stewart or her clients", he said.

Mr Trump, in an extraordinarily angry response, lashed out hours later at what a person briefed on the matter said was an investigation into possible bank fraud by Mr Cohen.

The White House remained defiant that the president has the power to directly fire Mueller - despite Justice Department regulations saying otherwise.

Asked why he had not fired Mueller, Trump left the door open.

The raid infuriated the president, who said publicly it was a "disgrace" that the Federal Bureau of Investigation "broke into" his lawyer's office. "Do I want to be involved in this? No".

Criticizing Mueller for veering into "highly personal issues", such as the alleged Daniels encounter, Giuliani added, "The only thing that's happening, perhaps, is that Mueller is trying to compel the president to testify".

Nunes has also spoken in the past week with members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which has been supportive of Trump, about how a potential contempt effort could unfold.

Giving business advice and communicating with people other than the client, for example, aren't covered by the privilege, he said.

Cohen has more recently attracted attention for his acknowledgment that he paid Daniels out of his own pocket shortly before the 2016 presidential election. Republicans in Congress - once considered a reliable bulwark that might help keep an angry president at bay - have become increasingly incensed over the department's slow production of documents on controversial cases, including the Hillary Clinton email case.

The raid was overseen by the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan and was based in part on a referral from Mueller, said Cohen's lawyer, Stephen Ryan. The White House cited a need to remain in the United States to monitor the USA response to a suspected chemical attack in Syria.

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