In April, Special Counsel Mueller and the DOJ crossed yet another bridge too far, when Mueller recommended, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein approved, a raid on President Trump’s then-personal attorney’s home and office.
At the time of the raid, I tweeted: “The raid is just one more reason to shut the Mueller operation down – it’s constitutionally suspect, ethically compromised, & frankly has no reason for being – given the fact that there’s no evidence of @RealDonaldTrump-Russia collusion.”
Judicial Watch began an investigation that has resulted in another JW “Mueller oversight project” lawsuit.
Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department for all records related to the April 9 raid on the office, home, and hotel room of Michael Cohen, then-personal attorney to President Donald Trump (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-01466)). The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the Justice Department lawlessly failed to respond to three separate FOIA requests.
On April 12, 2018, we sought from the Office of the Attorney General:
Also on April 12, 2018, we sent a second FOIA request for the following from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys:
- The Search and Seizure Warrant executed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the office and hotel room of Michael Cohen on April 9, 2018.
- The application for the above-referenced warrant and any affidavits submitted in support of the application
- All records about the recusal of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman from the Michael Cohen investigation.
On May 2, 2018, we submitted a third FOIA request for the following from the Department of Justice:
- All records of communications between Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York about Michael Cohen and/or the executed search warrants of Cohen’s office, home, and hotel room.
- All records of communications between Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York about Michael Cohen and/or the executed search warrants of Cohen’s office, home, and hotel room.
On April 9, 2018, the FBI raided the home, office, and hotel room of President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Prosecutors obtained the search warrant after receiving a referral from Special Counsel Mueller’s office conveyed through Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Lawyers for Michael Cohen reportedly completed a review of the over four million seized files from the raids and “found that 12,061 are privileged and shouldn’t be viewed by government lawyers.”
On its face, the raid on then-President Trump’s lawyer seemed abusive and out of line. It is not surprising that the Mueller Special Counsel and the Justice Department would ignore FOIA law and refuse to respond to Judicial Watch’s basic requests for information about this extraordinary raid.
Tom Fitton is president of Judicial Watch.