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FBI raids offices, home of Trump’s personal lawyer

WASHINGTON: The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday raided the offices and home of U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, law enforcement sources said, in a dramatic new development in a series of probes involving close Trump associates.

Cohen’s lawyer, Stephen M. Ryan, said that U.S. prosecutors conducted a search that was partly a referral by the Office of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.

Mueller is investigating whether members of Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia during the U.S. presidential election. Trump has called the probe a “witch hunt” and denied any collusion.

The raid could increase legal pressure on the president, because it involves the records of his longtime attorney and indicates a second center of investigations in Manhattan, alongside Mueller’s Washington-based probe.

Cohen has been at the center of a controversy over a $130,000 payment he has admitted making shortly before the 2016 election to adult star Stormy Daniels.

Trump reacted with unusually harsh language to news of the raid.

“It’s a disgraceful situation. It’s a total witch hunt. I’ve been saying it for a long time,” Trump said at the opening of a meeting with military and national security advisers to discuss Syria.

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