Durbin: Trump pressuring acting AG in Cohen probe is 'no surprise'

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinLet's stop treating student borrowers like second-class citizens Trump's immigration push faces Capitol Hill buzzsaw Hillicon Valley: Trump takes flak for not joining anti-extremism pact | Phone carriers largely end sharing of location data | Huawei pushes back on ban | Florida lawmakers demand to learn counties hacked by Russians | Feds bust 0M cybercrime group MORE (D-Ill.) said Wednesday that it's "no surprise" President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE reportedly pressed the then-acting attorney general to get one of Trump's allies in the U.S. attorney's office to oversee an investigation into Michael Cohen.

"When someone in elected office reaches out to a prosecutor to try to influence their decision making or even remove them, I think there’s a presumption you’re stepping over the line," Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, said on CNN.

"And in this case with the president, there have been so many instances in the last two years plus, it’s no surprise," he added.


The New York Times reported Tuesday that Trump asked then-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker late last year to put U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in charge of the Southern District of New York's investigation into Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer.

Berman, an ally of Trump who donated to his 2016 campaign, had recused himself from the investigation over a conflict of interest, and Whitaker apparently did not act on Trump's request.

The investigation ultimately led to Cohen pleading guilty to counts of bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance violations, charges related to hush money payments during the 2016 campaign to women who alleged they had affairs with Trump.

The Times cited Trump's push for Berman to head the investigation as one example of how the president has sought to influence the probes into his presidency and his associates.

Trump denied the report on Tuesday, calling it "more fake news."

On Wednesday morning, he ratcheted up his criticism.

"The New York Times reporting is false," Trump tweeted. "They are a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!"