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Trump seethes over FBI raid of lawyer, ponders firing those he blames

12 April 2018, 06:19 | Marta Robbins

Trump seethes over FBI raid of lawyer, ponders firing those he blames

Michael Cohen

Cohen's lawyer, Stephen M. Ryan, said on Monday prosecutors seized communications between Cohen and his clients based in part on a referral by Mueller.

The White House says President Donald Trump thinks he can fire special counsel Robert Mueller, but isn't taking that step now.

"They obviously had reason to believe they could not trust Cohen enough to subpoena him and wait for the response", said Jeffrey Cramer, a former USA attorney in Chicago who spent 12 years at the Department of Justice.

Several former officials at the Federal Election Commission have said the payment could have violated campaign finance laws, because it may amount to an unreported campaign donation.

"It's a broad swath of documents and records with those categories and it means that those categories were approved by the Judge as that there is probable cause of a crime in each of those categories", said Matt Olsen, a former prosecutor and ABC News contributor. Mueller has also charged Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who has pleaded not guilty, and 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities.

In this case, though, Mueller opted to refer the matter to federal prosecutors in Manhattan.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents searched Cohen's office, apartment and a hotel room where he's been staying while his home is under renovation, looking for documents related to Daniels and McDougal.

Trump also revived his broadsides on Rosenstein as well as Rosenstein's boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom he belittled to confidants for recusing himself from the investigation and, in turn, delivering him to Mueller.

Under Justice Department regulations, Mueller must consult with Rosenstein when his investigators uncover new evidence that may fall outside his original mandate.

But the extra layers of approval built in to authorizing a warrant for an attorney's office, and the fact that this investigation is now outside the umbrella of Mueller's probe, make it harder for Trump to cry foul, observers say.

Cohen, who is under the microscope in multiple threads of investigations by NY state and federal prosecutors, resigned himself to the reality of the situation, admitting to CNN that he is anxious about what's next.

The Recent Attack In Syria Got Headlines, But Others There Haven't
Referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin , he added: "Everybody's going to pay a price - he will, everybody will". "He will. The Trump administration has also asked the United Nations Security Council to authorize an independent inquiry into the attack.

So let's say you're a prosecutor in Manhattan at the Southern District of NY, and you want to get a search warrant of an attorney's residence.

In 2016, Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 in exchange for signing a nondisclosure agreement which she is now seeking to have invalidated.

In addition to looking for information about Stormy Daniels, investigators are searching for records about an alleged $150,000 payment made to Karen McDougal, a Playboy bunny who is linked to Trump as well. In this case, there was reports by The Washington Post that it was bank fraud and campaign finance violations. He calls Mueller investigation a "witch hunt". "I'd like to meet him, '" said Dr. Morton Levine, Cohen's uncle. I am just one in a long line of caretakers.

Trump's tunnel vision about widening legal probes surrounding him and his White House may not reflect reality, or even the views of many supposed allies on Capitol Hill, but it's a powerful driving force behind his actions, as everyone waits with dread to see what happens next.

"If so, confidentiality rules do not apply", she said.

From there, Cohen became a fixture in the president's organization.

Cohen has said he paid Daniels out of his own pocket shortly before the 2016 presidential election, but has not explained why. Daniels' team has had extensive communications with federal investigators, said a third person familiar with the investigations, who demanded anonymity to discuss the confidential matter.

On Monday, the firm said in a statement that its relationship with Cohen had "reached its conclusion, mutually and in accordance with the terms of the agreement".

We wonder: Will Cohen be fired next?

If Trump wields the ax against Rosenstein and then goes after Mueller, he would not only ignite a political storm but he also would raise doubts about the capacity of the USA system of governance itself to hold a strongman President in check.



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