In front of his Security Council yesterday, Mr. Trump commented on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s earlier raid and warrant served on his longtime friend and lawyer, Michael Cohen.
Lashing out at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, calling the investigation a “witch hunt” and a “disgrace,” Trump said the following regarding the raid which took place in multiple locations earlier in the day:
“We’ll see what may happen,” Mr. Trump said as he began a meeting with senior military officials to discuss responses to a chemical attack in Syria. “Many people have said you should fire him.”
What Mr. Trump seems incapable of understanding however, is that Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, referred this action over to prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, an act he has a legal responsibility to engage in per the outline of his job responsibility.
Watch Mr. Trump’s comments on the FBI raid which took place at multiple locations of his friend and attorney, Michael Cohen:
View the Order Appointing Robert Mueller as Special Counsel by Rod Rosenstein here:
Mr. Trump might have had a leg to stand on had Mr. Mueller taken this action himself, however, he didn’t, and per his assignment by Rod Rosenstein he did precisely what he was supposed to do regarding the concerns he held about Mr. Cohen; refer them to the appropriate jurisdiction.
According to Order No. 3915-2017, issued by Mr. Rosenstein, in paragraph b subsection ii, the following action was assigned to Mr. Mueller:
“The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director, James Comey in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including………….(ii) any matters that arose or arise directly from the investigation.”
Mr. Cohen maintains that it was he who paid adult film star Stormy Daniels, a woman who has captivated the public of late with her allegations that she and Mr. Trump had a sexual encounter with salacious details including the film star spanking Mr. Trump with a magazine with his own picture on it.
Additionally, the alleged affair took place approximately five months after Melania Trump gave birth to the couple’s son, Barron.
Watch coverage of the adult film star’s accounting of events in the video below.
The film star had been paid during the campaign for what many believe to be “hush money,” allowing for Mr. Trump to continue his bid for President.
Regarding the $130,000 payment Daniels received, Mr. Cohen states:
“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” Mr. Cohen said in a statement to The New York Times. “The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”
Mr. Trump had maintained silence regarding the allegations until last week when asked while flying back from a rally in West Virginia on Air Force One “whether he was aware of the payment made by his personal attorney to allegedly silence an adult film star who claims she had an affair,” with Mr. Trump, only to respond with a single word: “No.”
That answer led to a follow-up question which was more potent. The reporter asked why Cohen paid her “if there was no truth to her allegations.”
Mr. Trump responded as follows:
“You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen,” Trump said. “Michael’s my attorney, and you’ll have to ask Michael.”
Watch the video below to see Mr. Trump’s answers to a reporter regarding Stormy Daniels on board Air Force One:
Taking both Mr. Trump and Michael Cohen’s statements as factual begs the question as to how Trump could have entered into a non-disclosure agreement, which he did not even sign, under a fictitious name?
If Michael Cohen did, in fact enter Trump into this agreement without Mr. Trump’s knowledge, it then renders the agreement null and void, allowing the adult film star the right to disclose further details of her alleged encounters with Trump.
In other words, Mr. Trump should be grateful that Mr. Mueller referred this to the prosecutors in New York, especially given that he had no knowledge about the monies paid to the adult film star, or the non-disclosure agreement Mr. Cohn drafted and executed without Trump’s knowledge, allowing investigators to get to the bottom of the matter, but instead is angered.
The warrant allowed investigators to seize records from the domicile of Mr. Cohen and ancillary locations where he was known to do business or reside. Further, the warrant indicates Mr. Cohen is being investigated for possible bank fraud, campaign finance violations and wire fraud, according to three sources close to the investigation.
Mr. Trump also repeated his concerns over Attorney General Jeff Sessions recusing himself from the investigation, once again indicating how he would have sought another individual for the position, “had he known that Sessions would recuse himself.”
So while Mr. Trump may be angry with his Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or his Attorney General, he might want to remember that these searches required consultation with senior members of his own justice department.
Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer made clear to Mr. Trump that he better not use the FBI’s raid of Cohen’s properties as a way to fire Mr. Mueller. Said, Mr. Schumer:
“If the president is thinking of using this raid to fire Special Counsel Mueller or otherwise interfere with the chain of command in the Russia probe, we Democrats have one simple message for him: don’t,” Schumer said in a statement fired off shortly after Trump’s comments.”
Whether Mr. Trump will follow Mr. Schumer’s strongly worded advice is still unclear, with analysts and pundits feeling for the most part, that Trump will in fact fire Mr. Mueller and others involved in the investigation.
The fact that Mr. Trump believes the entire matter, “disgusting,” is quite accurate, however, one wonders whether he believes the matter disgusting for the right reasons.
A social psychologist by day, political analyst and journalist by night, Dr. Mark Bear has built an established audience by printing facts, without click-bait, sensationalism, or hyperbole. He is married to his wife of 34 years, and both he and his wife, Susan, have a Schnauzer named Shadow. Follow along by connecting with Doc on Facebook or Twitter under the handle Dr. Progressive!