Federal Bureau of Investigation raid on Cohen's offices is a witch-hunt, says Trump

Stormy Daniels claims she was threatened in 2011 to stay quiet about her alleged affair with Donald Trump

Public corruption prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan are trying to determine if there was any fraud related to the payments to Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels, according to one of the people. McDougal was paid $150,000 by The National Enquirer tabloid to keep quiet about the alleged affair, and like Daniels, she is now suing to be released from the non-disclosure agreement over the Trump affair. New reporting this afternoon says Daniels is now cooperating with federal investigators.

On Twitter, at least, the President didn't mention the possibility of firing Robert Mueller, the special counsel, as he did during his rant to the press on Monday. Trump called Mueller's investigation "an attack on our country", prompting new speculation that Trump might seek the removal of the Justice Department's special counsel, Robert Mueller. But legal experts say the White House could achieve the same end result by rescinding the regulation that allows for a special counsel.

Mueller's team is examining possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Moscow, as well as allegations of corrupt behavior by Trump campaign lieutenants and of White House efforts to obstruct the investigation. She echoed Trump's frustration, saying he believes federal authorities have "gone too far" by seizing communication between a lawyer and his clients.

President Donald Trump is fuming about what he says is abuse of attorney-client privilege after federal agents raised his personal attorney's office in NY. It could also be that the team that is handling the case, in other words, the team that is going to review this for attorney-client privilege to make sure that the investigators don't review anything that is privilege, is in the Southern District of NY. When the object of the application for a search warrant is an attorney who has worked for the President, it is fair to presume that the prosecutors presented the court with strong evidence of probable wrongdoing, or maybe even something stronger.

Cohen was interviewed for hours behind closed doors by two Congressional committees on the Russia links a year ago, where he vehemently denied Trump or himself having any contacts with Russians during the election or knowledge of any collusion. Rosenstein then will determine whether to allow Mueller to proceed or to assign the matter to another US attorney or another part of the Justice Department.

Prosecutors from the Southern District came to the criminal division at the Justice Department in Washington to sign off on the warrants, as required by the US Attorney's Manual, according to the source, and Rosenstein was made aware of the warrants before they were executed Monday.

McDougal has said she carried on an affair with Trump in 2006 after the birth of his son.

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Cohen did not immediately respond to calls and emails from USA TODAY.

In Cohen's case, critics said the search relates to payments made to pornography star Stormy Daniels that would not seem to justify so potentially intrusive a search of the attorney's confidential lawyer-client files. Daniels' team has had extensive communications with federal investigators, said a third person familiar with the investigations, who demanded anonymity to discuss the confidential matter. And then they had to show a judge that evidence of that crime was that Michael Cohen's office.

Cohen, Trump's longtime attorney, is under federal investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations, The Washington Post reported Monday. "I would be lying to you if I told that I am not (worried)", Cohen told CNN.

The raid infuriated Trump, who was left "stunned" and "livid" by the aggressive move by prosecutors Monday, according to an outside adviser in frequent touch with the White House.

"While it may be good for CNN for Michael Cohen to be speaking to Don Lemon", Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti told CNN's Anderson Cooper, "it's moronic under the circumstances".

"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".

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.

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