President Trump took to Twitter Tuesday to express his anger over the FBI’s raid of the office of his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, slamming the move as proof of a “witch hunt” and declaring that “attorney-client privilege is dead!”
According to The New York Times, which first reported the raid, agents obtained documents related to several issues, including Cohen's payments to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election.
The Times reported that prosecutors obtained the search warrant for Cohen's Midtown Manhattan office and a Park Avenue hotel room after receiving a referral from FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller -- who is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. The Washington Post reported that Cohen is under investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations.
Trump, who on Monday called Mueller’s investigation “an attack on our country,” sent out two rapid-fire tweets on Tuesday, expressing his anger at the development.
On Monday he floated firing Mueller, telling reporters that “many people” have recommended that this be done: “We’ll see what may happen.”
Cohen’s lawyer, Stephen Ryan, said that the raid was overseen by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan.
"The decision by the U.S. attorney's office in New York to conduct their investigation using search warrants is completely inappropriate and unnecessary," Ryan said in a statement. "It resulted in the unnecessary seizure of protected attorney-client communications between a lawyer and his clients."
A source close to Trump's legal team called the Cohen raid a “big deal,” designed to “squeeze the president.”
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, claimed she had a sexual encounter with the president in 2006 and was paid $130,000 by Cohen in the days before the 2016 presidential election as part of a nondisclosure agreement she has sought to invalidate.
Last week, Trump was asked by reporters if he knew about a payment to Daniels. “No,” Trump responded.
When asked why Cohen made the payment, Trump said, “You have to ask Michael Cohen -- Michael's my attorney.”
Several former officials at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) have said the payment appears to be a violation of campaign finance laws, and multiple Washington-based groups have filed complaints with the FEC, urging it to investigate.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.