President Trump complained Monday that the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation is not only a political witch hunt but "an attack on our country", exhibiting mounting concern about the yearlong probe after federal authorities raided the offices of his personal attorney. These people have the biggest conflicts of interest I have ever seen ...
He said the raid in NY marked a "whole new level of unfairness" by Mueller and his team.
During a meeting with military officials, Trump was asked about Mueller, who issued a referral that helped lead to a Monday FBI raid on Michael Cohen, Trump's personal attorney. It also comes as aides are girding for the release of Comey's memoir next week, which promises to reveal new details about the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's conversations with the president and the Russian Federation probe. "It resulted in the unnecessary seizure of protected attorney client communications between a lawyer and his clients".
The law enforcement action will nearly certainly amplify the public scrutiny on the payment to Daniels, who says she had sex with Trump in 2006.
Trump accepted the request but reportedly did not broach the subject of any payment. "Again, they found nothing, and in finding nothing, that's a big statement". A warrant requires multiple levels of approval within the Justice Department, and agency guidelines impose additional hurdles when the target of a search is an attorney like Cohen.
Mueller has so far secured indictments or guilty pleas from three former Trump associates.
In this case, though, Mueller opted to refer the matter to federal prosecutors in Manhattan.
Under Justice Department regulations, Mueller is required to consult with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein when his investigators uncover new evidence that may fall outside his original mandate. Rosenstein then will determine whether to allow Mueller to proceed or to assign the matter to another USA attorney or another part of the Justice Department. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the US attorney's office also had no comment. "Republicans and Democrats need to make clear that they will not allow President Trump or anyone on his behalf to interfere with or attempt to impede any of these ongoing and serious investigations".
"The Mueller probe is the most important investigation in a generation and is casting a cloud over a Presidency", Goodwin writes.
Trump also called the probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into 2016 election meddling "an attack on our country".
The $130,000 payment, of which Trump says he was unaware, came weeks before the 2016 presidential election.
Cohen has been an ardent defender in Trump's business, personal and political affairs for more than a decade - Cohen claims to have used a personal home equity loan to pay the adult film actress, known as Stormy Daniels - and the probe's expansion into the president's inner circle left Trump fuming.
Daniels has said she had sex with the president in 2006.
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