The day after the offices of his personal lawyer were raided by the FBI, President Donald Trump on Tuesday again denounced the investigation involving his campaign and the question of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!!” the President declared in a morning tweet.
Mr. Trump also complained that “Attorney-client privilege is dead,” as the FBI seized materials and evidence from his longtime personal lawyer.
On Monday – before being asked any questions by reporters – Mr. Trump spoke at length about the raid involving his lawyer Michael Cohen, labeling the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller a ‘witch hunt,’ and again questioning the legitimacy of the probe.
Let’s look at some of the issues raised by this turn of events.
1. It was not a welcome development for the President. It’s not just a question of your lawyer being investigated by the feds. This is a full scale raid, with the execution of search warrants for evidence. At the office of someone who is a lawyer for the President. This is not run of the mill stuff. Experts quickly said that the hurdles to get such a search warrant – when attorney-client privilege could be involved – are higher than normal, and that this signifies something important. “No one should underestimate significance of this event,” tweeted national security lawyer Mark Zaid. So, what might be at stake? Hear what Fox News legal expert Judge Nap has to say.
2. Mueller not the main player in this raid. When you listen to reviews like that on Fox News, and consider the chain of events, the FBI raid on Mr. Trump’s lawyer seems to raise the distinct possibility that this episode had nothing directly to do with questions of Russian interference in the 2016 elections. The word from the Justice Department was that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had given information over to the feds in the Southern District of New York – with a U.S. Attorney chosen by President Trump – and that those officials were handling the matter. But clearly it is a matter that delves into someone with close ties to Mr. Trump.
3. Has Mueller crossed the “red line” set by Trump? It wasn’t hard to tell that the President was not pleased by the news of the FBI raid. Before reporters at the White House on Monday, he said that agents had “broke into the office” of his lawyer. “It’s an attack on our country in a true sense. It’s an attack on what we all stand for.” Those were notably harsh words for the justice system, considering the legal process that would have to be undertaken in order to get something like this approved. There is a reason this is the top story on the news.
4. The President again points to Hillary Clinton. In expressing his displeasure with the investigation on Russian interference in the 2016 elections, Mr. Trump on Monday once more pointed to Hillary Clinton’s emails from her time as Secretary of State, and said Democrats had been let off the hook by the FBI and Justice Department. “The other side is where there are crimes,” the President said bluntly. “Nobody bothers looking at that,” Mr. Trump added. Supporters of the President stuck with him on this point, predicting that the President would not be silent.