Conservative commentator Bill Kristol said on CNN that President Trump will "go to war" against special counsel Robert Mueller after the offices and home of his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, were raided by the FBI Monday.
Here's the video of Kristol's comments
Here's what Kristol said:
"I would say, based on a little bit of knowledge about how these things work," Kristol pointed out, "if Robert Mueller had asked the southern district of New York not to do this now, they would have held off. I mean he has, sort of, precedence here."
"So I'm a little doubtful that this is not either part of his investigation or in accord with his wishes, and this is a huge escalation," he added. "They obviously can't used privileged documents, they'll have to set those aside, they'll be reviewed, as I understand, a third party reviews them, they set aside what's privileged or not."
"This is war"
"But this is war," Kristol said dramatically. "I believe this shows that we are very close now to the endgame."
"You do not go bust in," he continued, "get a judge to give you a warrant to search the president's personal lawyer's office unless you think you are close to the end of this, you are getting important information. The president is now going to war against him. If the president has ever thought about trying to fire Mueller or pardon people, this is the moment where it goes to the very front of his mind."
"So I guess I worry that we might be under-interpreting this in the sense that I think this is a big move," he added, talking over an interruption. "Mueller could have put this off, he could have tried to get more cooperation from Cohen. The idea that he signs off and goes to a judge to get a judge to sign off on a warrant to do this. I think that's a big deal."
Former Trump campaign strategist David Urban tried to get the CNN panel to "dial it back" based on the U.S. legal tradition that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Kristol, the editor at large of the Weekly Standard, has been a vocal critic of Trump from the right.
Trump responded Monday to the FBI raid of his lawyer, calling it an "attack" on the values of the country, and a "disgrace." Although the raids were not technically a part of Mueller's investigations, it has been reported that he made a criminal referral to the federal prosecutors in New York, and they decided to raid Cohen's offices and home.