The New York Times has broken the story that the FBI raided the office of longtime Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen today. The Wall Street Journal amplifies the story to add that the raid extended beyond his office to include his home and Manhattan hotel room. Conducted pursuant to a series of search warrants, the raids resulted in the seizure of “communications between the lawyer and his clients that cover topics including payments to the former porn actress known as Stormy Daniels, according to a person familiar with the matter.” The Journal further reports:
The searches were executed at the direction of the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office, which has opened an investigation that is being coordinated with the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, this person said.
Steve Ryan, a lawyer for Mr. Cohen, in a statement Monday confirmed the search. “Today the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York executed a series of search warrants and seized the privileged communications between my client, Michael Cohen, and his clients,” Mr. Ryan said. “I have been advised by federal prosecutors that the New York action is, in part, a referral by the Office of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.”
Mr. Ryan called the use of search warrants “completely inappropriate and unnecessary” and said it had “resulted in the unnecessary seizure of protected attorney client communications between a lawyer and his clients.” He added: “These government tactics are also wrong because Mr. Cohen has cooperated completely with all government entities, including providing thousands of non-privileged documents to the Congress and sitting for depositions under oath.”
We don’t know what yet what it all means, although it becomes clearer every day that President Trump is in a political death struggle with the authorities operating under his nominal control.
UPDATE: President Trump is not amused. We are approaching a critical point in this festering drama.