Earlier today the FBI conducted a raid on Donald Trump’s Attorney Michael Cohen, which was signed off on by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. While it’s been clear since last week that Mueller was zeroing in on Cohen, this move is so aggressive that it’s sending shockwaves across the political landscape. Now we’re getting confirmation that Trump himself was blindsided by the move, and that even his own advisers are admitting he has no plan for responding to it.
The New York Times was the first to report that Mueller and the FBI had raided Michael Cohen’s Office in New York City. Vanity Fair then confirmed that the FBI had also raided Cohen’s hotel residence. It was initially reported that Cohen was being targeted for campaign finance violations in relation to the Stormy Daniels payoff, but now the Washington Post is reporting that Cohen is also being targeted for alleged bank fraud. Then came Trump’s response, or lack thereof.
Robert Costa of the Washington Post tweeted this: “Briefly reached a WH official. Official said the WH doesn’t have a strategy for the Comey book. Paused. Then said that should answer my question of what’s the strategy for dealing with Cohen news.” In other words, Trump truly does have no remaining strategy for any of this, beyond sitting back as it happens to him, and then tweeting angry things as it goes wrong for him.
As Palmer Report explained earlier today, the FBI’s seizure of Michael Cohen’s communications with Donald Trump means that Trump himself is the real target here. It’s rare and extraordinary for a search warrant to be issued to seize records between an attorney and a client. However, attorney-client privilege does not apply to any conspiracy between attorney and client to violate the law.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report