Mueller looking at $150K payment from Ukrainian billionaire — NY Times

Donald Trump wanted Robert Mueller to be fired last December after news reports claimed his Special Counsel was looking into the president's business dealings it has been revealed

Donald Trump wanted Robert Mueller to be fired last December after news reports claimed his Special Counsel was looking into the president's business dealings it has been revealed

A $150,000 payment to President Donald Trump's foundation in 2015 by a Ukrainian billionaire is being examined by special counsel Robert Mueller's team, The New York Times reported Monday, citing three people briefed on the matter.

Minutes later he publicly unleashed his sharpest invective to date against the sweeping investigation, calling the Monday search "a disgrace". Agents seized records related to the $130,000 Cohen paid Daniels, took his computer, phone and personal financial records from his NY office, the paper said.

A source close to the White House also agreed with Trump's take on the alleged bias of Mueller investigators, saying that "the hiring of all those Clinton people for Mueller's team was not an accident".

The president is criticizing the federal raid of the offices of his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. "Well, I think it's a disgrace what's going on - we'll see what happens".

The raid creates a new legal headache for Trump even as he and his attorneys weigh whether to agree to an interview with Mueller's team, which in addition to investigating potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign is also examining whether the president's actions constitute obstruction of justice.

Cohen has been an ardent defender in Trump's business, personal and political affairs for more than a decade - Cohen claims to have used a personal home equity loan to pay the adult film actress, known as Stormy Daniels - and the probe's expansion into the president's inner circle left Trump fuming. The payment was made just days before the 2016 presidential election, and Trump told reporters last week that he did not know about it.

Trump added on the raid, "It's an attack on on our country...what we all stand for... is a whole new level of unfairness".

Trump also went after Attorney General Jeff Sessions - whose decision to recuse himself set in motion events that led to the appointment of Mueller by deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who is revealed to have permitted the raid after hearing from Mueller.

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"Why don't I just fire Mueller?"

Trump answered questions about Daniels for the first time last week, saying he had no knowledge of the payment made by Cohen and he didn't know where Cohen had gotten the money.

President Donald Trump slammed the FBI's raid on the offices of his longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

"The decision by the U.S. Attorney's Office in NY to conduct their investigation using search warrants is completely inappropriate and unnecessary", Ryan said in a statement.

The harsh tone of Trump's comments immediately drew warnings from lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who have sought to preserve Mueller's independence.

The Democrat Senate leader tweeted that Mueller's investigation is "vital to the health of our democracy" and "must be allowed to continue".

"If [the president] is thinking of using the Federal Bureau of Investigation raid to fire Special Counsel Mueller or otherwise interfere with the chain of command in the Russian Federation probe, we Democrats have one simple message for him: don't", Schumer wrote. Rosenstein then would determine whether to allow Mueller to proceed or to assign the matter to another US attorney or another part of the Justice Department.

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