WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. raided the Rockefeller Center office and Park Avenue hotel room of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, on Monday morning, seizing business records, emails and documents related to several topics, including a payment to a pornographic film actress.
Mr. Trump, in an extraordinarily angry response, lashed out hours later at what a person briefed on the matter said was an investigation into possible bank fraud by Mr. Cohen. Mr. Trump accused his own Justice Department of perpetrating a “witch hunt” and asserted that the F.B.I. “broke in to” Mr. Cohen’s office.
The president, who spoke at the White House before meeting with senior military commanders about a potential missile strike on Syria, called the F.B.I. raid a “disgraceful situation” and an “attack on our country in a true sense.”
It is not clear how the F.B.I. entered Mr. Cohen’s office, but agents had a search warrant and typically would have presented it to office personnel to be let in. The documents identified in the warrant date back years, according to a person briefed on the search.
The prosecutors obtained the search warrant after receiving a referral from the special counsel in the Russia investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, according to Mr. Cohen’s lawyer, who called the search “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.” The search does not appear to be directly related to Mr. Mueller’s investigation, but most likely resulted from information that he had uncovered and gave to prosecutors in New York.
In his tirade against the F.B.I., Mr. Trump mused about the possibility that he might soon fire Mr. Mueller. Last June, the president vented internally about wanting to fire Mr. Mueller, but was talked out of it.
“We’ll see what may happen,” Mr. Trump said Monday. “Many people have said you should fire him.”
The president once again railed against Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, for recusing himself in the Russia inquiry, and blasted the F.B.I. for failing to investigate Hillary Clinton, “where there are crimes.” He criticized Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, who is overseeing the Russia investigation, and called Mr. Mueller’s team “the most biased group of people,” who he said were mostly Democrats and some Republicans who had worked for President Barack Obama.
“That is really now on a whole new level of unfairness,” Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Cohen’s lawyer, Stephen Ryan, confirmed the raids. “Today, the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York executed a series of search warrants and seized the privileged communications between my client, Michael Cohen, and his clients,” Mr. Ryan said. “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.”
Mr. Sessions appointed the United States attorney for the Southern District, Geoffrey S. Berman, only in January. Mr. Berman is a former law partner of Rudolph W. Giuliani, a former New York mayor and a supporter of Mr. Trump.
The payment to the pornographic film actress, Stephanie Clifford, who is known as Stormy Daniels, is only one of many topics being investigated, according to a person briefed…