undergroundnewsroom.com April 25, 2018

Trump fumes over Federal Bureau of Investigation raid that targeted payments to women - aides

12 April 2018, 07:25 | Damon Campbell

Trump fumes over Federal Bureau of Investigation raid that targeted payments to women - aides

US President Donald Trump talks about the FBI raid at his lawyer Michael Cohen's office during a briefing from Senior Military Leadership in the Cabinet Room of the White House

In fact, he's more a milquetoast kind of guy. But two sources said the raid could mark a tipping point that would prompt the President to take more aggressive action against the special counsel. Documents are not privileged simply because they passed through an attorney's hands.

FILE- Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's lawyer, speaks to reporters after a closed-door meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 19, 2017. The White House has consistently said Trump denies the affair.

The warrant indicates that investigators appear to be examining what role the longtime Trump attorney played in trying to tamp down unflattering stories as Trump sought to win the White House. No wonder Trump seems rattled. Republicans in Congress - once considered a reliable bulwark that might help keep an angry president at bay - have become increasingly incensed over the department's slow production of documents on controversial cases, including the Hillary Clinton email case.

If both the lawyer and the client insisted that Trump had no idea that Cohen had made the payment, they can not assert that those activities were protected by attorney-client privilege, legal experts said.

The President claimed FBI agents "broke into" Cohen's office and hotel room, even though they had a federal search warrant. He is, by all accounts, very upset.

If the President were to find a way to dismiss Mueller, he would trigger outrage in Washington and present Republicans who control the House with a dilemma about whether to act or to side with constituents who strongly support Trump.

In January, CNN reported that the chief judge in New York's Southern District had sent a letter to fellow judges laying out the prospect that, after the 120-day period, the possible appointment of the Manhattan US attorney would fall to the district court.

Michael Avenatti, the combative California lawyer representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in her legal battle with President Trump, operates far outside the staid worlds of federal banking regulations and campaign-finance law. It's reasonable to assume all this has been leaked by Cohen's lawyers, which means that it may be an incomplete list.

Mr Mueller's team is examining possible collusion between Mr Trump's campaign and Russian Federation, as well as allegations of corrupt behaviour by Trump campaign lieutenants and of White House efforts to obstruct the investigation. "The president feels he's done a great job and wishes him the best".

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After he viewed the program, Trump told advisers he wanted to get rid of officials in the Department of Justice who were working against him, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Cohen's reaction to the raid lends some credibility to the idea that he won't be as defiant as one might have expected.

Asked if he was anxious, Cohen told CNN: "I would be lying to you if I told that I am not".

"I will tell you that members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that conducted the search and seizure were all extremely professional, courteous and respectful". They include allegations that the $130,000 Cohen has acknowledged paying Daniels days before the presidential election amounted to an illegal, excessive campaign contribution.

Cramer noted that the United States attorney's office would have had to clear a slew of internal hurdles, which do not necessarily exist for the average citizen, to obtain the search warrant on Cohen before it went to a federal judge. "Do I need this in my life? No".

Daniels argues that the payment was hush money that prevented her from discussing her affair with Trump in greater detail.

That does not sound like a man who is prepared to go down with the ship.

Trump's attitude toward Rosenstein, and the judicial system's code of internal integrity, seemed certain to take a further poisonous turn with news Tuesday that Geoffrey Berman, the interim U.S. attorney for the Southern District of NY, which oversaw the Cohen raid, had recused himself from the matter.

Heather Digby Parton, also known as "Digby", is a contributing writer to Salon.

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