End it Now: Mueller and the FBI Have Crossed the Line
“Attorney-client privilege is dead,” wrote President Donald Trump in an early morning tweet Tuesday. “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!”
As dripping with venom as the president’s short overview of this abominable situation was, it doesn’t even scratch the surface. What was reported on Monday afternoon goes beyond legal ethics or even the partisan influences of the Robert Mueller investigation. We are now in coup territory, and it should send a chill down the spine of every single American citizen who thought we were still living in a democracy.
On Monday morning, the FBI raided both the New York offices and hotel room of Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to seize business records “related to several topics, including a payment to a pornographic film actress,” according to the wording in the New York Times.
Said porn actress is, of course, Stormy Daniels, who was paid $130,000 in “hush money” by Cohen in the closing weeks of the 2016 election. The president has denied having any knowledge of this payment, but Cohen himself has not disputed writing Daniels the check. Some legal experts have said that by doing so, he may have violated election finance laws by making what amounts to an “in-kind contribution” to the Trump campaign.
The investigation into the Stormy Daniels payment is one thing; as much as we may not like it, we can’t bury our heads in the sand and pretend that something doesn’t stink about that whole situation. The media has turned this into a spectacle of unbelievable proportions, but if the payment violated the law in some way, we can’t begrudge the FBI or the FEC for doing their jobs.
But as the Times story admits, this raid goes well beyond the Stormy situation.
In a statement, Cohen’s lawyer said that while the raid was not carried out at the behest of the special counsel, the matter was referred to the U.S. attorney in New York by Mueller’s team.
“Today, the U.S. 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,” said Cohen’s lawyer. “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.”
We’ll be happy to eat our words if this raid turns out to have nothing to do with the Trump/Russia collusion farce and is simply a result of Cohen’s independent wrongdoing. We’re not interested in defending Cohen anymore than we’re interested in defending the actions of Paul Manafort. We’re only interested in how, why, and if these men are being screwed by the FBI as the Mueller investigation uses every dirty trick in the book to bring down this president. We’re only interested in making sure that in the process of what is obviously a partisan “investigation,” the U.S. law enforcement/intelligence community is staying within the boundaries of the law.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, President Trump said the entire investigation was a “disgrace” and an “attack on our country.” Those are strong words. But with the FBI and Mueller knowing no boundaries – and having shown NO PROOF WHATSOEVER of being able to bring a case against the president – we’re inclined to agree.
For Trump to shut down the investigation would be to bring utter mayhem to Washington.
Nonetheless, we may be quickly approaching that time.