Update (6:21pm)- President Donald Trump reacted to the raid on Cohen’s office Monday evening at the top of a meeting with senior military leaders.
“It’s a disgraceful situation,” Trump told reporters. “I have this witch hunt constantly going on.”
Trump added that “It’s an attack on on our country…what we all stand for” and described the Special Counsel’s probe as “the most conflicted group of people I have ever seen.”
WASHINGTON — The attorney representing Trump confidant Michael Cohen said Monday that federal law enforcement officials executed search warrants against his client, calling such a move “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.”
“It resulted in the unnecessary seizure of protected attorney client communications between a lawyer and his clients,” Stephen Ryan of McDermott, Will & Emery said in a statement. “These government tactics are also wrong because Mr. Cohen has cooperated completely with all government entities, including providing thousands of non-privileged documents to the Congress and sitting for depositions under oath.”
Ryan added that federal prosecutors told him that that the search was fueled “in part, by a referral by the Office of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.”
Cohen is the longtime personal attorney for Trump.
The New York Times initially reported that Cohen’s office was raided in relation of multiple topics being investigated, including Cohen’s payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 election.
In February, Cohen acknowledged that he paid Daniels $130,000 to not publicly discuss an alleged intimate encounter between her and Trump in 2006, but denied that an affair took place.
The payment was made weeks before the 2016 election, raising concern among some campaign finance watchdogs that the payment was essentially an in-kind donation to Trump’s presidential campaign.
Daniels’ attorney is currently suing to dissolve the non-disclosure agreement that she signed as a condition of receiving the money, on the grounds that it is invalid because Trump did not sign it.
Last week, Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that he was not aware of the payment at the time, urging the press to speak to Cohen about why he made it.