‘Part of a pattern’: Ex-prosecutor explains why special counsel will focus on New York Times bombshell
MSNBC legal analyst Mimi Rocah (screengrab)

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York Mimi Rocah blasted the "shocking" news that President Donald Trump sought to prosecute political adversaries -- and explained why special counsel Robert Mueller will focus on the issue.

"I think first of all, Robert Mueller probably looks at it like the rest of us, which is, on the one hand, it's not surprising, but it should be shocking," Rocah noted. "The fact the president is trying to use his powers in this way, to use the Department of Justice to investigate -- prosecute, not even investigate, but prosecute -- his political opponents, this is just a new threshold."

"I know he sort of talked about it before, but this means he was really seriously thinking about it in terms of the Mueller investigation," she continued.

"But I think this goes in the bucket that we've been talking about of things that are now -- the bucket is very full of things -- that over and over again, this president does to try and interfere with the Mueller investigation," Rocah noted.

"And whether it be, you know, through firing Comey or firing essentially the attorney general or trying to investigate people who might be witnesses against him and so many more, it becomes part of a pattern," she concluded.

"I have to believe that that is going to be very relevant to Mueller," she added.