Federal agents that conducted the raid on the home and office of Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen were not directed by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, but the information they gathered could be shared with his investigation.
According to current and former officials who spoke to Bloomberg, this could be part of a carefully executed plan.
Officials say compartmentalizing the investigation by breaking it apart into different offices will preserve the information in the event that Trump tries to fire Mueller.
Mueller appears to be attempting to insulate his investigation from potential interference himself. The Cohen raid is the latest example of this strategy, current and former government officials said. Because it was conducted under the auspices of the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, evidence seized can be shared with Mueller as needed or preserved if the special counsel is removed, the officials said.
Trump cannot directly fire Mueller. To fire him, Trump would first have to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and then appoint a replacement who would agree to fire Mueller. Finding someone willing to do that may be difficult, however, because they'd be implicating themselves in a conspiracy before they're even sworn in.
It's a small comfort that Mueller is taking steps to safeguard the investigation and everything he has uncovered, but it's better than nothing.
If Democrats win back control of the House of Representatives in November, they could also hire Mueller to finish his investigation if Trump has successfully dumped him.