The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday raided the office of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer in the latest legal development to hit the White House.
The New York Times report of the raid into Michael Cohen’s office was confirmed by Cohen’s own lawyer, who called the search “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.” Other media outlets subsequently reported the news.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the raid was conducted at Cohen’s home, office and hotel room.
The reports said federal prosecutors received a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller but added that the search apparently was not directly related to Mueller’s investigation.
Late Monday, the Washington Post reported Cohen was being investigated for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations.
Mueller is charged with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, including any links to Trump’s presidential campaign, as well as any matters that arise from that investigation.
Trump said late Monday that the raid was “a disgraceful situation” and “an attack on our country in a true sense,” and again called Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt,” according to White House pool reports.
When asked why he doesn’t fire Mueller, Trump said, “I think it’s a disgrace what’s going on,” according to a White House pool reporter. “We’ll see what happens. Many people have said ‘you should fire him.’”
The records that were seized relate to Cohen’s $130,000 payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels as well as emails, tax documents and business records, according to the New York Times report.
Daniels has alleged she had a brief affair with the president. She’s suing to end a nondisclosure agreement that she agreed to on the eve of the 2016 presidential election.
The New York Times report appeared in the closing minutes of Monday’s session, and was a drag on the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.19% , which closed with a slim, 46-point gain, after what was called the worst final-hour stock-market performance in years.