Federal agents raided the office of a Chicago lawyer who did tax work for President Donald Trump for over a decade.
The Chicago Sun Times reported that agents showed up early Thursday morning and removed everyone from the office of Chicago Alderman and Finance Committee Chairman Ed Burke.
The investigators then covered the windows looking into the Chicago City Hall office from floor to ceiling with brown paper and spent the next approximately seven hours working in and removed items from the location.
Source says feds showed up this am, asked everyone to leave and put brown paper on the doors. pic.twitter.com/4qJBwzoKF4
— Fran Spielman (@fspielman) November 29, 2018
The purpose of the raid of the Democratic city official was not clear.
The Times reported, based on a source, that the raid was in response to new allegations, meaning “for now, the investigation isn’t focused on Burke’s property-tax-appeal work for President Donald Trump.”
“It doesn’t mean, however, that those dots won’t be connected later,” the paper added.
According to The Times, about 15 agents arrived at Burke’s office at 7:30 a.m.
Some left around 2 p.m. carrying a computer and two monitors and one cardboard file box.
Chicago Public radio station WBEZ reported that FBI agents also showed up at Burke’s ward office, once again putting brown paper over the windows after entering the building.
Ald. Burke’s ward office is also papered over. pic.twitter.com/F1XanM1lt9
— Claudia Morell (@claudiamorell) November 29, 2018
According to The Times, Burke’s private law firm, Klafter & Burke, has worked repeatedly over a 12-year period for Trump’s companies, seeking to reduce the taxes owed on properties, including Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago.
The attorney stopped working for Trump after the New York businessman became president.
The Times reported that Burke issued a statement Thursday afternoon and spoke with reporters outside his home Thursday evening.
“As you are aware, there have previously been several other investigations such as this. In every instance we cooperated fully. And in every instance nothing has been found,” Burke was quoted as saying.
“So once again we will be cooperating fully and I am completely confident that at the end of the day nothing will be found amiss in this instance either.”
The federal agents’ appearance coincided with special counsel Robert Mueller announcing a plea agreement with Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, that same day.
Mueller accused Cohen of making false statements to Congress regarding a building project the Trump Organization was considering in Moscow, which Trump ultimately decided against.
FBI agents raided Cohen’s office and home in April, removing documents and audio files, The Wall Street Journal reported.
A little over three months later, Cohen pleaded guilty to criminal charges, including five counts of tax evasion stemming from 2012 to 2016, one count of making a false statement to a financial institution in a loan application, and one count of making an excessive corporate campaign contribution in relation to payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Renowned legal scholar Alan Dershowitz observed on Fox News on Thursday night, “Virtually all of (Mueller’s) indictments and pleas come from people who he got to lie in front of investigators by setting perjury traps for them, and the other ones have to do with financial dealings unrelated to the president. Where’s the beef? Where’s the crime?”
Trump tweeted on Thursday, “When will this illegal Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt, one that has shattered so many innocent lives, ever end-or will it just go on forever? After wasting more than $40,000,000 (is that possible?), it has proven only one thing-there was NO Collusion with Russia. So Ridiculous!”
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