Donald Trump has called an Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raid of the offices of his personal lawyer Michael Cohen “a disgrace”.
Cohen has been at the centre of a controversy surrounding the payment of porn star Stormy Daniels, who has alleged that she had sex with Trump and was paid money shortly before the 2016 election to keep quiet about it.
Stephen Ryan, Cohen’s lawyer, confirmed to the New York Times that a raid had taken place and that certain “communications” had been seized.
Speaking to reporters, Trump hit out at Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the probe into Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election.
He said: “I have this witch hunt going on. It’s a disgrace. It’s an attack on our country. That is a whole new level of unfairness.”
“Many people have said you should fire him ... we’ll see what happens,” Trump added.
As part of the raid, agents also reportedly stormed Cohen’s room at the Loews Regency on Park Avenue, where he’d been staying.
Agents spent “several hours” combing through the hotel room, Vanity Fair reported.
“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,” said Ryan.
“The decision by the US Attorney’s Office in New York to conduct their investigation using search warrants is completely inappropriate and unnecessary,” he added.
Cohen did not immediately respond to Reuters for a request for comment.
A spokesman for Special Counsel Robert Mueller had no comment.
Mueller is investigating allegations that Russia meddled in the US presidential election in 2016, and investigating possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Russia has denied allegations that it interfered in the election, and Trump and the White House have repeatedly said there was no collusion.
Ryan said in his statement that Cohen has co-operated with authorities and turned over thousands of documents to congressional investigators for their own probes into Moscow’s alleged efforts to influence the US election.
A source said the FBI seized emails, tax documents and business records, The New York Times reported.
Cohen has been a fiercely loyal adviser to the president.
Last September, he told Vanity Fair he’d “take a bullet” for Trump, viewing his role as “the guy who protects the president and the family.”