But a shift began to unfold over the weekend after prosecutors in NY for the first time linked Trump to a federal crime of illegal hush payments.
U.S. President Donald Trump sought Monday to diminish allegations he directed his lawyer to criminally violate campaign finance laws by making $280,000 in payments to two women to remain silent before the 2016 election about alleged affairs with him.
"And they can not make an allegation like that unless they're going to do something with it", he added. And while he noted that it was a mixed bag for President Trump, Napolitano offered the prospect of charges being filed without anyone ever even knowing. In a tweet-storm, the president (referred to as Individual 1 in the court documents) kept insisting the filings were good news for him. Mr. Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. "Is this an impeachable offense?" and "Is Trump not yet in jail only because he's president" have become the loudest talking points in Washington D.C; in the same week Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. has reportedly scrambled away to Canada fearing arrest. Still, that doesn't mean Trump will not be indicted and charged if he loses re-election in 2020. After all, the Senate is unlikely to remove the president from office, and any impeachment proceedings would likely come amid a contentious 2020 pesidential campaign season.
Sen. Angus S. King Jr., Maine independent, said that if lawmakers move forward on impeachment with the evidence they now have, then much of the country would see it as "political revenge" and "a coup against the president".
(CNN) President Donald Trump is clearly anxious.
Impeaching President Trump based exclusively on the say-so of a sleazy lawyer like Michael Cohen may not be beneath House Democrats.
Christie said that while he's always thought that the "Michael Cohen situation was much more perilous for the White House than was Bob Mueller", that the Mueller investigation remains a threat to Trump. Trump on Friday said he would nominate former Attorney General William Barr to the post to succeed Jeff Sessions. Even if he has already gathered enough evidence to write his report about Russian collusion and possible obstruction of justice, he shouldn't send his team home until someone in his office interviews Trump. However, most of the disclosed communications took place against the background of "sustainable efforts of the Russian government to intervene in the US presidential election", as reported by Robert Mueller at the hearing last week.
But even if NY does end up indicting the President, actual impeachment still carries with it significant risks.
"My concern is that, if impeachment is moved forward on the evidence that we have now, at least a third of the country would think it was just political revenge and and a coup against the president", said Sen. The Federal Prosecutor demanded on Friday a long prison sentence for Cohen.
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