US president Donald Trump called the FBI's raid on his long-time personal attorney Michael Cohen's offices a "disgrace" and an "attack on our country in a true sense ... an attack on what we all stand for."
"Here we are talking about Syria and I have this witch hunt constantly going on for over 12 months now," he said during an evening meeting with his military advisers.
The FBI raided Cohen's offices Monday and seized "privileged communications". Documents related to the payment to the porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016 were also seized.
"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," Cohen's lawyer Stephen M Ryan said in a statement.
"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."
"It resulted in the unnecessary seizure of protected attorney-client communications between a lawyer and his clients. These government tactics are also wrong because Mr Cohen has co-operated completely with all government entities, including providing thousands of non-privileged documents to the Congress and sitting for depositions under oath," the statement said.
Here are some quick facts about FBI raiding Cohen's offices Monday
- Trump was watching the live coverage of the FBI raid on Cohen's offices. According to CNN, a White House official revealed that Trump followed the news coverage on cable television
- Cohen's lawyer Ryan said that the New York action is a part of "referral" from special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Trump believes Mueller has crossed the line after the raid
- Trump was asked Monday whether he will fire Mueller, to which he replied, "Well, I think it's a disgrace what's going on. We'll see what happens"
- Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti reacted to the raid news and said Trump has considerable reasons to be concerned. "It appears that the noose is tightening around Michael Cohen. I think that the President has considerable reason to be concerned," Avenatti told CNN
Cohen is a long-time personal attorney of Trump. He earlier admitted that he paid Daniels in 2016 to not talk about her alleged affair with Trump.