President Donald Trump publicly rails against special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of his 2016 campaign ties to Russia, but privately he’s more concerned about investigations of him and his children in New York.
Sources close to the president say Trump’s legal team is focused on matters under investigation in the Southern District of New York, and he’s asked his attorneys to stick around to face those battles after Mueller submits his report, reported The Daily Beast.
Mueller is reportedly close to submitting his report, but the president is bracing for legal woes he may face from U.S. Attorneys in the SDNY and lawsuits filed by attorneys general in New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
“Details about Trump and his family business could be laid bare for public scrutiny as Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer and self-described fixer, heads to the Hill to testify this week,” The Daily Beast reported. “He is set to answer questions regarding Trump’s debts and payments, compliance with federal disclosure requirements, tax laws, campaign finance laws, and potentially fraudulent practices by the Trump foundation.”
Former New York attorney general Barbara Underwood sued the Donald J. Trump Foundation last year, alleging the charity functioned as a “checkbook” for its namesake’s business and political interests, and its board of directors — Trump, his daughter Ivanka, and his two sons Eric and Donald Jr. — remain under investigation despite the foundation’s dissolution in December.
Trump and his associates also face a deluge of congressional investigations of his real estate business, his tax returns, his dealings with Deutsche Bank and his appointment of former attorney general Matt Whitaker.
The president and his allies continue to describe the wide-ranging probes as politically motivated, even if they recognize the potential threats are real.
“I believe the Mueller investigation has always been a part of ‘the resistance,’ designed to stop the president’s agenda by any means necessary,” said Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign adviser who has been questioned in the Mueller probe.
He insisted the SDNY was also part of that political “resistance,” and Caputo said New York state authorities and the Democratic House majority were also going after the president so Mueller could end his investigation — but he admitted Trump needed additional help to face those battles.
“By my estimation, there will be a need for more attorneys,” Caputo said, “because I expect the harassment to double, if not triple.”