Trump advisers see Cohen probe as greater threat to Trump than Mueller: report
President Trump’s advisers reportedly believe that the investigation involving his longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen poses more of a threat to the president than special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia inquiry.
The New York Times reported Friday that some of the president’s aides have been hesitant to discuss a potential response to the Cohen investigation in New York out of concern that they could be swept up into the probe.
At the same time, Trump has found it difficult to hire a new criminal lawyer to help him in the case, the Times reported.
The news that the corruption investigation in New York is seen by Trump’s own advisers as a more imminent threat came as lawyers for Trump and Cohen sought to block investigators from going through records obtained on Monday in an FBI raid on Cohen’s hotel room and office.
Agents also seized Cohen’s computers and other electronic devices, as well as materials from a safe deposit box.
Federal prosecutors revealed on Friday that Cohen has been the subject of a criminal investigation for months.
Cohen’s attorneys have argued that either their client or an independent lawyer should be allowed to review the seized materials before prosecutors are allowed to view them.
Trump reportedly called Cohen on Friday to “check in” with his longtime lawyer and fixer, the Times reported.
Lawyers for Cohen have argued that the some of the records seized in the Monday raid may be protected under attorney-client privilege, which typically makes such communications off limits except in limit circumstances.
Prosecutors maintain, however, that Cohen was “performing little to no legal work, and that zero emails were exchanged with President Trump.”
Trump lashed out on Monday after news of the federal raids targeting Cohen emerged, calling it a “disgrace” and an “attack on our country.”
The raids were conducted after federal prosecutors in Manhattan obtained a search warrant based, in part, on a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller, who is conducting the federal probe into ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia.