On Monday, agents from the FBI searched the home, office and New York City hotel room of Michael Cohen—Donald Trump’s longtime attorney—and the president didn’t like it one bit.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the records seized from Cohen include those related to payments made to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels.
The best part? The FBI raids were part of a probe being conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan—an investigation that is being coordinated with the office of special counsel Robert Mueller.
Mueller has his foot on your president’s neck, and it appears he is going to continue to apply pressure until he finds something that will send Trump away for good. I, personally, am here for it.
Trump apparently couldn’t hold in his anger after finding out about the raids.
While in a Monday-evening meeting at the White House with military leadership, he reportedly called the raid a “disgrace” and a “witch hunt.”
Trump is reported to have said that the investigation is “an attack on what we all stand for.”
The president also said that Mueller’s team was “the most conflicted group of people,” and he again criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation, saying that he made a “terrible mistake.”
Trump was reportedly asked if he would fire Mueller, and he said, “We’ll see what happens.”
Trump also said, “Many people have said, ‘You should fire him,’” but he didn’t indicate whether he planned to.
But because we know your president and the truth are in a long-distance relationship, I highly doubt anyone is advising him to fire Mueller. The optics of that alone—especially as more and more shady information about Trump comes out—would do him in.
I also highly doubt that your president has ever taken a basic high school civics class. He doesn’t seem to understand how even basic government works.
But I digress …
The story goes that in late October 2016—two weeks before the presidential election—Cohen made a payment of $130,000 to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump.
Cohen reportedly used First Republic Bank to wire the funds to an attorney representing Daniels.
After receiving a federal subpoena for records related to the transaction, First Republic conducted its own investigation of the transaction and submitted its findings to the U.S. Treasury Department in the form of a suspicious-activity report.
Banks are required to send suspicious-activity reports to the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network when they observe transactions that either have no apparent lawful purpose or that deviate inexplicably from a customer’s normal bank activity.
The payment to Daniels was sent from First Republic Bank to a client-trust account at City National Bank. City National also investigated the transaction last year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Cohen has previously said that he paid Daniels out of his own pocket and that he was not reimbursed by either the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign.
WSJ notes that Cohen has not said the president did not reimburse him personally, but a source told WSJ that Cohen complained after the election that he had not yet been reimbursed for the payment.
Your president, of course, denies any knowledge of the payment and said he doesn’t know where the money for the payment came from.
Lest anyone think this is all for show, read this little tidbit from WSJ:
Because Mr. Cohen is an attorney, prosecutors would have needed to obtain additional approval from a unit at Justice Department headquarters to take investigative steps against a lawyer because of the sensitivities around documents and communications protected by attorney-client privilege. They also must set up a separate team to review all the seized evidence and remove any privileged documents before the investigative team examines them.
“It’s more work,” said William Cowden, a former federal prosecutor in Washington who is now with The Federal Practice Group, referring to obtaining a search warrant on a lawyer’s office. “They must have a reason to believe that what they are getting is more than just attorney-client privileged information,” he said.
Because your president likes to spin doomsday tales to distract everyone whenever he or someone close to him is in the hot seat, on Monday he said that the FBI raids on Cohen’s office had caused the stock market to drop.
“The stock market dropped a lot today as soon as they heard the noise—you know, of this nonsense that was going on,” he said.