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White House lawyers urge restraint as Trump fumes over FBI raid

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Michael Cohen
US President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen is pictured arriving back at his hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, US in this Apr. 10 photo. -- REUTERS

WASHINGTON — White House lawyers are trying to dissuade US President Donald Trump from seeking to get rid of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as Mr. Trump weighs options after the FBI raided his personal attorney’s office and home, two US officials said on Tuesday.

White House lawyers Ty Cobb and Donald McGahn have been telling Mr. Trump that firing Mr. Mueller would leave the president vulnerable to charges of obstruction of justice and have said that he must have “good cause” to order Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to oust Mr. Mueller, the officials said.

The lawyers repeated those arguments after Monday’s raids targeting Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, but have made little or no progress persuading the president, the officials said.

Aides said Mr. Trump was fuming on Tuesday over the raids but his future course of action remained unclear.

The advice of the lawyers takes on greater significance following the departure of key aides, such as Hope Hicks, who recently resigned as White House communications director.

Mr. Trump has called Mr. Mueller’s probe a “witch hunt.”

Russia and Mr. Trump both deny any wrongdoing.

The raids represent an escalation of a federal inquiry led by Mr. Mueller into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election and possible collusion by Trump campaign aides. — Reuters