President Trump on Sunday blamed the FBI’s search of the office of his former attorney, Michael Cohen, for causing his longtime associate to turn against him.
“Remember, Michael Cohen only became a ‘Rat’ after the FBI did something which was absolutely unthinkable & unheard of until the Witch Hunt was illegally started. They BROKE INTO AN ATTORNEY’S OFFICE!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The president questioned why the FBI did not “break into” the offices of the Democratic National Committee or his 2016 campaign opponent, Hillary Clinton.
The FBI in April raided Cohen’s home, office and hotel room, seizing troves of documents and computer files. The search warrants for the raids came in part based on a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.
Cohen last week was sentenced to three years in prison for multiple federal crimes he pleaded guilty to months after the raids, including bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance law violations he said he committed at Trump’s direction when he paid two women to keep quiet about alleged affairs with the president.
At his sentencing, Cohen said he took “full responsibility for each act that I pled guilty to, the personal ones to me and those involving the president of the United States of America.”
Cohen, who once said he would take a bullet for the president, told ABC in an interview after his sentencing that he acted out of loyalty to Trump. He added that Trump knew the payments were wrong.
Trump said he did not direct Cohen to break the law, and argued that Cohen’s crimes were “all unrelated” to him other than the campaign finance violations, which the president insisted were not criminal.
The president has regularly lashed out at his own law enforcement agencies and officials while in office. He has repeatedly attacked Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, lambasted former FBI Director James Comey and targeted numerous other Justice Department officials.