Earlier today, a bombshell development in the Trump-Russia investigation occurred when the FBI raided the offices of Michael Cohen, as reported by The New York Times.
Cohen — President Trump’s longtime friend and personal lawyer — was previously implicated in a possible campaign finance violation when it was revealed that he paid $130,000 in hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels to cover up an alleged extramarital affair between her and Trump. The agents also snatched up emails, tax documents, and business records.
Cohen’s office is located in Trump Tower, meaning the FBI has officially raided the flagship establishment of the Trump empire.
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His office is in Trump Tower. https://t.co/KEmzEgq7As
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) April 9, 2018
The FBI seized numerous documents during the raid, including some related to the Stormy Daniels payoff. The search warrant was obtained after special counsel Robert Mueller sent a referral to federal prosecutors. The Times reported that the raid is most likely due to information uncovered by Mueller during the course of his investigation.
“The seized records include communications between Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen, which would likely require a special team of agents to review because conversations between lawyers and clients are protected from scrutiny in most instances,” writes Matt Apuzzo of The Times.
Dan Rather, the veteran newsman and outspoken critic of the Trump administration immediately took to Twitter to weigh in on the raid. Rather implied that Michael Cohen is Trump’s “bag man,” that is to say a henchman who handles illicit payments. Based on what we’ve already learned about Cohen’s payments to Stormy Daniels, Rather doesn’t seem too far off the mark.
The journalist also predicted that we are witnessing the crucial turning point at which the Stormy Daniels scandal morphs into a serious legal problem for the Trump team. Rather referred to today’s news as a “very ominous development for the President.”
The FBI raids the offices of Trump attorney (and bag man?) Michael Cohen. This is when the Stormy Daniels story officially ceases to be about what happened in the bedroom and very much about what could happen in a court of law. A very ominous development for the President.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) April 9, 2018
It’s as yet unclear what the exact objective of the raid was, but it’s certainly very bad news for Cohen and quite possibly Trump. Once again Mueller has sent a strong signal that he will follow the evidence wherever it leads. Each new development seems to indicate where the investigation will end up: right on the doorsteps of the White House.