NYT: Trump confidants see Cohen probe as bigger threat than Mueller probe
President Donald Trump’s confidants see the criminal investigation into Michael Cohen as a bigger threat to Trump than the special counsel investigation, The New York Times reported Friday, citing several people close to the President.
According to The Times report, both Trump’s and Cohen’s legal teams on Friday were assessing the damage from documents obtained in a raid on Cohen’s home and office Monday.
Trump spoke with Cohen, his personal attorney, on Friday over the phone, a source with knowledge of the matter confirmed to CNN.
One source familiar with Trump’s thinking told CNN that a week ago, the President was sanguine and in a decent mood, believing he had finally wrested control of the White House.
However, the source said the President is now angry, “flailing and upset.” The source added that Trump is upset beyond anything he has witnessed so far in the administration, and that the Cohen raid was a tipping point. The source called it akin to a “final blow” for Trump, and said the President’s anger is “beyond what anyone can imagine.”
Another source who has spoken with the President said he’s becoming “unmanageable,” and that he is in a “lash out” mode. The source pointed out that the only two people who know if there is anything there are the President and Cohen.
Cohen’s tumultuous week began with federal investigators raiding his home and office on Monday. On Friday, the Department of Justice announced Cohen had been under criminal investigation for several months in New York over his business dealings.
Lawyers for Cohen attempted to block federal prosecutors from using some of the recordings they seized by filing a temporary restraining order. However, the US attorney in New York asserted the raids had been authorized by a federal judge to seek evidence of conduct “for which Cohen is under criminal investigation.”
Cohen has not been charged with a crime.
The special counsel investigation is being run by Robert Mueller, who is looking at Russian meddling in the 2016 election. This includes investigating any potential ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia. The President has repeatedly denied collusion.