With some even saying to "forget" about the Robert Mueller Russia investigation, press members said the Southern District of New York's investigation of the Trump organization was where the real threat to President Donald Trump was.
Last week, SDNY prosecutors revealed their investigation into hush money payments to women Michael Cohen claims to have made at Trump's direction had ended. Fox News reported this meant there are likely no charges to be filed against Trump or other members of the Trump Organization.
CNN reported it was a "significant victory" for Trump's family business:
The conclusion of federal prosecutors' investigation of the Trump company's role in the Cohen matter marks a significant victory for the President's family business, although it likely doesn't come as a complete surprise. There had been no contact between the Manhattan US Attorney's office and officials at the Trump Organization in more than five months, CNN reported Friday.
Yet this development could come as a surprise to pundits and reporters who believed, for instance, that "this is where it ends for this president."
So said MSNBC host Donny Deutsch in February about the SDNY's investigation. Deutsch also remarked that "what is going to destroy everything he ever built and his children is a 30-year dishonest criminal enterprise."
"Many analysts have said that the Manhattan office of the Justice Department, the Southern District of New York, poses the real threat to the president," MSNBC's Brian Williams said on March 26.
"Is there something there? If a prosecutor is looking at everything you ever did for 30 years, probably," MSNBC legal analyst Paul Butler said on March 18.
"You can see sort of the dominoes falling," former SDNY prosecutor Harry Sandick told CNN's Erin Burnett March 5 of the investigation into the Trump Organization.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said to "forget Mueller" and look at the SDNY, which was an "existential crisis" for Trump. CNN's Kate Bolduan and New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said the investigation was of greater peril to Trump than Mueller's Russia probe, which dominated the news for nearly two years.
Other commentators like MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, ABC's Sunny Hostin, and former Obama solicitor general Neal Katyal made similar pronouncements.
Trump has claimed to not be aware of Cohen's payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, the women who say they had affairs with Trump and were paid off in order to not hurt his 2016 election chances. Trump has also denied the affairs.
The Democratic-led House Oversight Committee asked the SDNY last week if Justice Department guidelines about not indicting a sitting president prevented them from charging Trump with campaign finance law violations.
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