The Biggest Stories in American Politics This Week

The president’s advisers have concluded that a corruption investigation in New York presents a more imminent threat than the special counsel’s inquiry.

Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer, outside the Capitol in September.CreditJonathan Ernst/Reuters

Federal agents raided the office and hotel room of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, on Monday. They seized business records, emails and material from Mr. Cohen’s cellphones, tablet, laptop and safe deposit box, and looked for details about Mr. Cohen’s efforts to suppress negative information about Mr. Trump during the campaign.

Prosecutors demanded information from a wide breadth of records, including documents related to the “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Mr. Trump made vulgar comments about women, and materials related to secret agreements Mr. Cohen made with women who claimed to have had affairs with Mr. Trump.

The president’s advisers have concluded that the wide-ranging corruption investigation in New York poses a greater and more imminent threat to the president than even the special counsel’s investigation, according to several people close to Mr. Trump.

The deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, personally approved the warrant, which was obtained after a recommendation from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. On Friday, Mr. Cohen asked a federal judge in Manhattan to block the Justice Department from reading documents related to his decade-long legal representation of Mr. Trump.

Listen to how the president reacted to news of the raid on Monday:

President Trump reacted to news that the office of his longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, had been raided by the F.B.I.Published OnCreditImage by Tom Brenner/The New York Times

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Nearly a week after a deadly suspected chemical attack, the United States and its allies launched airstrikes on Syria.

A picture said to show victims of the suspected chemical attack on the Damascus suburb of Douma.CreditEmad Aldin/EPA, via Shutterstock

Nearly a week after a suspected chemical attack in Syria, the United States and its allies delivered a volley airstrikes on Friday night.

“These are not the actions of a man,” Mr. Trump said of last weekend’s attack in a televised address from the White House Diplomatic Room. “They are crimes of a monster instead.”

The strikes risked pulling the United States deeper into the complex, multisided war in Syria from which Mr. Trump only last week said he wanted to withdraw. They also raised the possibility of confrontation with Russia and Iran, both of which have military forces in Syria to support Syria’s leader, Bashar al-Assad.

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Excerpts from James B. Comey’s memoir, which describes Mr. Trump as “untethered to truth,” were released. The president hit back.

President Trump and James B. Comey at the White House days after the inauguration.CreditAl Drago/The New York Times

Copies of a memoir by James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, were obtained by The New York Times and other news organizations on Thursday, less than a week before it was scheduled to be released. The 304-page book is the only firsthand, insider account of the administration published by a former Trump official so far. The president fired Mr. Comey in May.

“This president is unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values,” Mr. Comey wrote in the book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership,” lacing his recollections of Mr. Trump’s demands and conversations with brutal impressions of the president’s physical appearance and mannerisms.

Mr. Trump lashed out on Twitter on Friday morning, dismissing Mr. Comey as an “untruthful slime ball” and a “proven LEAKER & LIAR,” and saying it was “my great honor to fire” him. Republican allies of the president have also prepared a counteroffensive, creating a “Lyin’ Comey” website in anticipation of the book’s formal release.

But Mr. Trump’s outrage over Mr. Comey’s revelations conflicted with his pardoning on Friday of I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff. Mr. Libby, who goes by Scooter, was convicted of perjury in connection with the leak of a C.I.A. officer’s identity.

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Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced he would not seek re-election, sending Republicans scrambling seven months before the midterm elections.

Mr. Ryan said Wednesday that he would not seek re-election, ending a brief stint atop the House and signaling the peril that the Republican majority faces in the midterm elections.Published OnCreditImage by Tom Brenner/The New York Times

Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced that he would retire at the end of his term, paving the way for a new Republican leader and blindsiding many House Republican candidates, who were counting on his leadership ahead of the November elections.

Mr. Ryan, who was reluctant to take the position in 2015, spoke of his desire to spend more time with his family and will leave satisfied with the passage of the massive tax overhaul. But his departure signals that there is a lack of stable, steady leadership in the Republican Party.

As many as 50 House Republican seats are at risk in competitive races this year, and his departure makes it more difficult for the Republican Party to hold onto the House majority. Republicans also face a single-seat majority in the Senate.

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Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, testified before Congress for the first time. It took nearly 10 hours over the course of two days.

In a hearing held in response to revelations of data harvesting by Cambridge Analytica, Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook chief executive, faced questions from senators on a variety of issues, from privacy to the company’s business model.Published OnCreditImage by Tom Brenner/The New York Times

Mark Zuckerberg answered nearly 600 questions from skeptical lawmakers over two days after revelations that Facebook, the company that he repeatedly mentioned he started in his Harvard University dorm room, failed to protect the data of more than 87 million users from being harvested by a political consulting firm.

There was widespread consensus among lawmakers that there is a need for some form of regulation, given that social media technology has rapidly outpaced Washington. Mr. Zuckerberg conceded that it was “inevitable that there will need to be some regulation.”

But it remains unclear how such regulation would unfold, given that lawmakers are hesitant to infringe upon First Amendment protections and the innovation of Silicon Valley while still monitoring companies that collect such wide amounts of private data from users.

Mr. Zuckerberg also revealed that his own personal data had been compromised by third-party actors. He spent part of his time in Washington mounting a sort of apology tour and outlining how Facebook would revise its practices.

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The Trump administration continued to seek trade deals — including one it left last year — but it remains unclear how those deals will unfold.

President Trump made the comments about the Trans-Pacific Partnership during a meeting on Thursday with farm-state lawmakers and governors at the White House.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

In a sharp reversal, Mr. Trump said on Thursday that the United States was looking to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multinational trade agreement he pulled out of during the first few days of his administration.

Mr. Trump appeared to shift his approach to the trade agreement partially in response to concerns over the impact of his trade stance on farmers and a looming trade war with China.

The president’s announcement comes as the administration seeks a deal on the North American Free Trade Agreement by the beginning of May. It’s unclear how successful that time frame will be, given that the United States refuses to budge on contentious proposals designed to bring manufacturing back to the country.

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