Trump Asked Whitaker to Put Ally in Charge of Cohen Case

NYT Trump asked Whitaker for new investigator on Cohen

NYT Trump asked Whitaker for new investigator on Cohen

An explosive new report from the New York Times reveals that President Donald Trump asked former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker if he could appoint a loyalist to oversee investigations being conducted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. Napolitano said if the report is true, the call shows "corrupt intent" on the part of the president and would clearly be "an attempt to obstruct justice." That's the critical issue right now for those on the conservative side.

The Times reported that the President asked Whitaker to get Trump-friendly attorney Geoffrey Berman in Manhattan to head the Cohen investigation, even though Berman had recused himself from the probe. "That's more fake news".

Whitaker told Trump that Berman, who had already recused himself from the investigation, could not be involved in it.

Per The New York Times, Whitaker is now under scrutiny by House Democrats for possible perjury. The president soon soured on Mr. Whitaker, as he often does with his aides, and complained about his inability to pull levers at the Justice Department that could make the president's many legal problems go away.

Cohen was sentenced to three years' imprisonment in December for crimes committed as Trump's attorney.

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Democrats have expressed concern that Whitaker could undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether the Trump campaign worked with Russian Federation to win the 2016 election. Faced with the question of whether he once asked Whitaker about the recusal matter in the Cohen case, Trump said he did not.

Trump has fumed to advisers about a raid by federal prosecutors of his lawyer and former fixer Michael Cohen in April 2018, and those close to Trump have feared the investigation into Cohen could extend deeper into Trump's business.

In August, Cohen admitted he made illegal campaign contributions at the behest of Trump and pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations in connection with the hush-money payments.

Material from Bloomberg was used in this story.

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