President Donald Trump condemned as "disgraceful" an FBI raid on the office and hotel room of his longtime lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who paid $130,000 to an adult-film actress and who has been a key figure in the USA investigation into Russian election meddling.
"Today the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY executed a series of search warrants and seized the privileged communications between my client, Michael Cohen, and his clients,"Stephen Ryan, Cohen's lawyer, told the Times".
The fertilizer storm to follow Mueller's firing would be like nothing we've seen before.
A source close to the White House also agreed with Trump's take on the alleged bias of Mueller investigators, saying that "the hiring of all those Clinton people for Mueller's team was not an accident". The search was reportedly conducted for records related to Cohen's payments to Stormy Daniels, a porn star claiming to have had an affair with Trump in 2006. He called it "an attack on our country", and he complained, "That is really a whole new level of unfairness". "It's an attack on what we all stand for".
"Why don't you just fire Mueller?", a reporter asked at the end of Trump's lengthy rant.
A source close to the Trump legal team told Fox News' Catherine Herridge that the raid on Cohen was "aggressive" and created to "squeeze the president".
The New York Times wrote Monday evening that Mueller's team is investigating the circumstances around the payment, which came after Trump addressed a September 2015 conference via satellite and answered questions for 20 minutes.
The president addressed Rod Rosenstein, who now serves in that role, saying he was correct to write a letter criticizing ousted FBI Director James Comey but appearing to criticize him for signing a FISA warrant against campaign operative Carter Page.
Trump called the probe a "witch hunt", suggesting it was a distraction from serious issues, like the consideration of a military response to Syria's apparent use of a chemical weapon on civilians over the weekend - which was a subject of his Monday evening meeting with the defense secretary, the joint chiefs of staff and US combatant commanders.
Earlier this year, Mueller subpoenaed the Trump Organization for documents relating to the donation, made by Ukranian steel magnate Victor Pinchuk. Democrats all, just about all, ' Trump said, although Mueller himself is a Republican. Rosenstein then would determine whether to allow Mueller to proceed or to assign the matter to another US attorney or another part of the Justice Department.
On Syria, Mr. Trump said, "We're going to make a decision tonight, and you'll be hearing the decision", though probably "after the fact", He also suggested that we can't let atrocities like chemical attacks happen - "because of the power of our country we're able to stop that", he said. "No marshal can get into this White House and any Secret Service agent who defies me is fired'". Many people have said you should fire him. Mr. Schoen, who had gotten to know Mr. Cohen by running into him in the green room at Fox News, dealt with him and not Mr. Trump directly, according to another person briefed on the exchange.