The FBI raided Michael Cohen's office on Monday, the personal lawyer to President Donald Trump who allegedly oversaw a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in the days leading up to the 2016 election, the New York Times reported.
According to the Times, Special Counsel Robert Mueller issued a referral for the raid, although the search does not appear to be directly related to his ongoing investigation of Russian meddling and possible coordination with the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. The Times report does indicate, however, that the raid stemmed from information Mueller uncovered and gave to prosecutors.
In order to secure a raid, Mueller went to US Attorney Geoffrey Berman, who was appointed in January. Berman took the information to a federal judge, who green lighted the raid.
Berman replaced acting US Attorney Joon Kim, who replaced Preet Bharara. Bharara was fired by Trump after he refused to resign when Trump demanded that all US Attorneys who worked under President Barack Obama to step down.
Despite Berman being a Trump appointee, the President said the investigation is a "witch hunt."
"I have this witch hunt constantly going on, it is a real disgrace," Trump said. "It is an attack on what we all stand for," It is at an all new level of unfairness."
Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to stay out of the Mueller investigation shortly after being confirmed as AG. He assigned his Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to oversee Mueller's investigation. Trump admitted on Monday that had he known that Sessions would recuse himself, that he would have looked for a different attorney general.
"The attorney general made a terrible mistake when he did this and when recused himself or he certainly should have let us know if he was going to recuse himself and we would have put a different attorney general in," Trump said. "So he made what I consider to be a very terrible mistake for the country. But you'll figure that out."
Trump was asked whether he should fire Mueller.
"I think it's a disgrace what's going on. We'll see what happens..Many people have said you should fire him," Trump said. "Again, they found nothing and in finding nothing that's a big statement because you know the person who is in charge of the investigation."
Cohen was reportedly responsible for paying Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about a previous sexual encounter with Trump. Daniels has since gone public about the alleged sexual encounter, recently appearing on "60 Minutes" in an interview with Anderson Cooper.
The possible payment, which Trump has claimed he has no knowledge of, has also brought questions on its legality, and whether the payment by Cohen constituted as an undisclosed campaign contribution.
Cohen's lawyer on Monday told the New York Times the raid was “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.”