Donald Trump's decision to fill his cabinet with former employees of Goldman Sachs elicited a range of reactions as diverse as America is. Leftists rolled their eyes. Liberals howled about the hypocrisy of Trump hiring the same people he'd scapegoated and dog-whistled about during the campaign. Breitbart put cute little globes around Gary Cohn's name because he's Jewish and hate gets clicks. Meanwhile Wall Street took heart that at least someone with their mien and worldview would be occupying seats of power in the Trump White House.
Whether their presence ends up truly helping Wall Street remains to be seen. But Trump's Goldmanites are definitely making their backgrounds clear to the administration now, and not exactly in ways that scream “team player.” With Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation starting to claim scalps, Cohn et al know the heat is on. And that's a place they've been before. See this anecdote from a Vanity Fair peek into a White House under siege:
The first charges in the Mueller probe have kindled talk of what the endgame for Trump looks like, according to conversations with a half-dozen advisers and friends of the president. For the first time since the investigation began, the prospect of impeachment is being considered as a realistic outcome and not just a liberal fever dream. According to a source, advisers in the West Wing are on edge and doing whatever they can not to be ensnared. One person close to Dina Powell and Gary Cohn said they’re making sure to leave rooms if the subject of Russia comes up.
Cohn and Powell knew they were taking risks (mostly reputational) when they signed onto the Trump White House. But they didn't sign up to become targets in an FBI dragnet. So it's time to revisit that old see-no-evil-hear-no-evil tactic of evading criminal liability in the midst of a government investigation – a skill that has certainly had its uses on Wall Street. If you worked at Goldman for 25 years and didn't learn when exactly in a conversation it's best to whistle a tune and amble innocently away, what exactly did you do all those years?