'They can always find something': Trump is reportedly spooked as investigators zero in on his finances
On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that House Democrats are investigating recent reports that President Donald Trump tried to ask former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker whether U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, a staunch Trump ally, could "un-recuse" from the Southern District of New York investigation into the president's financial arrangements with his former personal attorney Michael Cohen.
According to the report, moreover, Trump is increasingly terrified that the investigators are delving too deeply into his finances — and that he is convinced they will find some reason to report misconduct:
Mr. Trump has also expressed irritation that Congress is now examining Mr. Cohen's business dealings, after federal prosecutors in New York spent months building a case and charging his former lawyer. "He's frustrated that Congress wants to keep peeling at this," one of the people close to Mr. Trump said.
Early last year, Mr. Trump was watching television in his private dining room in the White House as he vented about prosecutors' apparent growing interest in his and his associates' finances.
Talking to advisers, Mr. Trump appeared concerned that an "out-of-control prosecutor" examining a person involved in large business transactions would easily be able to find a "technical violation," a person close to the president said.
"If they really want to, they can always find something on anyone," Mr. Trump said, according to this person.
Prosecutors from the Southern District of New York have brought charges against Cohen over hush money payments he made ahead of the 2016 presidential election to women who said they had affairs with Trump. Cohen, who is now going to prison in part for those crimes, implicated the president in these violations of campaign finance law. SDNY is also reportedly heading up the probe into how the funds for Trump's Inauguration Committee were used.
Trump's allies have long tried to warn about prosecutors investigating Trump's books. Whitaker himself warned that special counsel Robert Mueller was "dangerously close to crossing" a red line on Trump's finances.
It seems clear Trump is worried what prosecutors will find if they go down this road — and it is in the interest of the American people that they do so.