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

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate votes to confirm Neomi Rao to appeals court The Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison Trump faces growing pressure over Boeing safety concerns MORE (D-Ill.) said Wednesday that it's "no surprise" President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: report 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!"