Trump’s Greatest Fear

By David A. Graham

It’s always been the business that worried Donald Trump. This was true during the presidential campaign, it was true during the transition, and it remains true now.

The president continues to waffle over what to do about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe—fire Mueller? Fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein?—but for the moment, he seems content with bluster. As federal prosecutors in New York circle his longtime fixer Michael Cohen, however, Trump’s legal team has sprung into action, seeking the right to review and withhold documents seized from Cohen. Meanwhile, well-sourced reporters at The New York Times and Axios both say that Trump is much more rattled by the Cohen case than by Mueller’s investigation.

For days, Trump has been fuming on Twitter about how the raid on Cohen constitutes a violation of attorney-client privilege. Standard procedure in such a case is for a Justice Department “taint team” to review documents and determine which ones are privileged. (Privilege cannot be used to conceal a crime; it’s also unclear when Cohen was acting as a lawyer, and for whom.) Cohen has challenged that process, first saying he should be allowed to review the documents, then asking for a special master to review the documents.

On Sunday, lawyers for the president made an extraordinary request: They believe that Trump’s legal team should be able to review the documents themselves. Legal experts regard the request as extraordinary and unlikely to succeed, though the entire case is extraordinary, from the nature of the raid, to the fact that the president is involved, to Trump’s battles with his own Justice Department.

The fact that Trump would attempt such a maneuver shows how rattled he is by the Cohen investigation. That’s remarkable, given the seriousness of the Mueller probe, which involves a foreign …read more

Via:: The Atlantic


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