Trump anger over Federal Bureau of Investigation raids sparks speculation of Mueller firing

FBI agents raided the New York offices of President Trump's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen

The attorney for Trump mistress Stormy Daniels blasted the president's longtime personal lawyer for going to the press a day after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided his office and residences.

President Donald Trump has howled in all caps for almost a year as the Justice Department has delved deeper and deeper into his orbit.

The special counsel is also probing a $150 000 payment Ukrainian billionaire steel magnate Victor Pinchuk made during the U.S. presidential campaign to Trump's foundation for the American real estate developer to give a 20-minute speech via video link, according to The New York Times.

Agents seized files relating to Cohen's work, which included making a $130 000 payment before the 2016 election to an adult film actress who says she had a tryst with the Trump a decade earlier.

The raids, which also swept up communications between Cohen and Trump, left the White House scrambling to contain yet another crisis in an administration rife with them.

"The decision by the USA attorney's office in NY to conduct their investigation using search warrants is completely inappropriate and unnecessary", Ryan said.

Different procedures apply depending on whether the attorney is a subject or target of the investigation, or a disinterested third-party, Alonso said.

"You can't get much worse than this, other than arresting someone's wife or putting pressure on a family member", he said.

In this case, George Papadopoulos, a foreign-policy adviser to the Trump campaign who met with people with links to the Kremlin, provided the low-level entry points.

The president spent much of Monday afternoon glued to the television.

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On Monday, FBI agents raided Cohen's NY offices, acting in part on a referral by special counsel Robert Mueller to federal prosecutors in NY. "It's a total witch-hunt, I have been saying it for a long time", he told reporters.

"I have this witch hunt constantly going on", Trump said.

Trump accused Mueller of overseeing a biased investigation staffed by Democrats, "a pure and simple witch-hunt".

Later Tuesday, Avenatti reiterated his remarks to CNN. "Many people have said, 'You should fire him, ' " the president added. "His goal will be to figure out how much vulnerability he has".

The raid on Cohen's office, as well as his home and a hotel room where he was staying on Monday, would have required a high level of evidence that a crime was committed, according to former federal prosecutor Ken White, in an interview with Fox News.

But Cohen also could face fresh questions about the statements he made to banks as he sought a home-equity line of credit to fund Daniels' payoff. "Is it extraordinary? No".

"S.D.New York prosecutors conducted a search warrant at her office", Sandick recalled. The best-case scenario for him at this point is that (a) the payment to Daniels is somehow deemed not to have been a campaign contribution even though Cohen didn't think to get her to sign an NDA about a five-year-old affair until three weeks before the 2016 election, and (b) it turns out that Cohen really did sign the hush-money agreement on Trump's behalf, as his lawyer, but never told Trump the details, which would merely be a major ethical breach instead of a criminal violation.

When asked about the issue, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a Tuesday briefing: "He certainly believes he has the power to do so".

Trump has absorbed some advice from a number of legal commentators on cable news, including Alan Dershowitz, a retired Harvard Law School professor who has made supportive comments about the president. Both said they slept with Trump while he was married. "Cooperation doesn't seem to have much payback".

On Capitol Hill, Republicans were divided over Trump's implicit threats to possibly fire Mueller, while legislation to protect the prosecutor remained stalled. He said the president could "assert" his rights as Cohen's client and "go into court and seek to demand returned every bit of information that is arguably lawyer-client privilege before anybody has a chance to read anything".

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