NYT: Trump advisers view Cohen investigation as ‘greater threat’ than Mueller probe

President Trump’s team reportedly views the legal problems facing Michael Cohen as potentially more damaging to the president than the Russia probe headed by Robert Mueller.

“Trump’s advisers have concluded that a wide-ranging corruption investigation into his personal lawyer poses a greater and more imminent threat to the president than even the special counsel’s investigation, according to several people close to Mr. Trump,” reports the New York Times.

After pointing out the raids of Cohen’s residence, hotel room, and office, the piece says that “although [Trump’s] lawyers had projected confidence in their dealings with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, they were caught flat-footed by the New York raids. The lawyers fear that Mr. Cohen will not be forthcoming with them about what was in his files, leaving them girding for the unknown.” 

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Michael Cohen's home, office and hotel raided by FBI
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Michael Cohen's home, office and hotel raided by FBI
Police and security stand outside 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the location for the offices of U.S. President Donald Tump's lawyer Michael Cohen which was raided by the F.B.I. today in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 9, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 9: Thirty Rockefeller Plaza is shown where FBI officials reportedly raided the offices of Michael Cohen, longtime personal lawyer for President Donald Trump in Midtown Manhattan April 9, 2018 in New York City. Cohen worked at Squire Patton Boggs, but the firm said today it had severed ties with him following the raid. Federal prosecutors in New York City obtained a search warrant following a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about the FBI raid at his lawyer Michael Cohen's office, while receiving a briefing from senior military leaders regarding Syria, in the Cabinet Room, on April 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. The FBI raided the office of Michael Cohen on Monday as part of the ongoing investigation into the president's administration. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 9: Thirty Rockefeller Plaza is shown where FBI officials reportedly raided the offices of Michael Cohen, longtime personal lawyer for President Donald Trump in Midtown Manhattan April 9, 2018 in New York City. Cohen worked at Squire Patton Boggs, but the firm said today it had severed ties with him following the raid. Federal prosecutors in New York City obtained a search warrant following a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 9: Thirty Rockefeller Plaza is shown where FBI officials reportedly raided the offices of Michael Cohen, longtime personal lawyer for President Donald Trump in Midtown Manhattan April 9, 2018 in New York City. Cohen worked at Squire Patton Boggs, but the firm said today it had severed ties with him following the raid. Federal prosecutors in New York City obtained a search warrant following a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: U.S. President Donald Trump is flanked by National Security Advisor John Bolton as he speaks about the FBI raid at his lawyer Michael Cohen's office, while receiving a briefing from senior military leaders regarding Syria, in the Cabinet Room, on April 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. The FBI raided the office of Michael Cohen on Monday as part of the ongoing investigation into the president's administration. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 9: Thirty Rockefeller Plaza is shown where FBI officials reportedly raided the offices of Michael Cohen, longtime personal lawyer for President Donald Trump in Midtown Manhattan April 9, 2018 in New York City. Cohen worked at Squire Patton Boggs, but the firm said today it had severed ties with him following the raid. Federal prosecutors in New York City obtained a search warrant following a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 9: Thirty Rockefeller Plaza is shown where FBI officials reportedly raided the offices of Michael Cohen, longtime personal lawyer for President Donald Trump in Midtown Manhattan April 9, 2018 in New York City. Cohen worked at Squire Patton Boggs, but the firm said today it had severed ties with him following the raid. Federal prosecutors in New York City obtained a search warrant following a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
A man enters 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the location for the offices of U.S. President Donald Tump's lawyer Michael Cohen which was raided by the F.B.I. today in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 9, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about the FBI raid at his lawyer Michael Cohen's office, while receiving a briefing from senior military leaders regarding Syria, in the Cabinet Room, on April 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. The FBI raided the office of Michael Cohen on Monday as part of the ongoing investigation into the president's administration. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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Politico notes that attorneys for both Cohen and Trump have since petitioned the court to block the release of at least some of the materials seized by federal agents, with the former arguing confidentiality under attorney-client privilege. 

Despite the scrutiny over Cohen’s business dealings, the president has continued to express his support for his lawyer, whom he called a “good man.” 

 

Trump also said of the probe, “It’s a disgraceful situation. It’s a total witch hunt.” 

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