As The Washington Post's Fact Checker details point by point in its first ruling that President Trump flat-out lied, Trump and his team had almost a dozen opportunities over the past two years to say whether they knew or had involvement in election-year hush-money payments to women who alleged affairs with him. According to a new report, Cohen was compelled to turn on Trump after a conversation he had with his father earlier this year, who said he did not survive the Holocaust to have his name "sullied" by Trump.
But it was his attorney Rudy Giuliani's threat of a "people's revolt" if Trump is impeached, coming a day after Trump warned of an economic meltdown, a sign indicating the scorched earth policy the President and his aides are preparing for, if things go further south. "Let me say this about impeachment: you can't be political about it".
Cohen has pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges, including campaign-finance violations, tax evasion and bank fraud at a federal court in Manhattan, New York.
On perhaps the worst day of Trump's tumultuous time in office, his former fixer Michael Cohen told a federal judge August 21 he had made illegal campaign contributions - in the form of payments to silence women alleging affairs with Trump - at his boss's request. One of these claims involves "hush money" paid to porn star Stormy Daniels, who Trump allegedly had an affair with in 2006.
Cohen said in court Tuesday he violated a campaign-finance law in 2016 at the "direction" of a political candidate he didn't identify in court.
Later, US media reported that prosecutors in the Cohen case had granted federal immunity to the chairman of the company that publishes the National Enquirer tabloid, David Pecker. Legal experts generally agree that sitting presidents can't be indicted. Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of NY "could seek permission from the deputy attorney general to do what we did in Watergate, which was to prepare a "road map" of evidence bearing on the president's culpability and send it to the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over impeachment", Lacovara told The Times.
That prompted Sessions to fire back that he would not be swayed, in a remarkable public broadside.
"I think it is becoming increasingly clear that the president will have two options - one, he can resign from office or two, he can face impeachment", Mr. Green said on Democracy Now. But if they discover that the first duty demanded of them, by their own rabid followers, is to impeach President Trump, they may wonder why they were so eager to win it.
Gold prices extend gains as dollar sags after Donald Trump remarks
But Kohn said it does put more pressure on Powell and other Fed officials to explain their actions and their perspectives. Last November, Trump nominated Powell as Fed Chairman to replace Janet Yellen when her term expired in February.
- Hush payments "not a crime"?
"President Trump has repeatedly abused his pardon powers to undermine the rule of law and, especially in light of recent events, it's more urgent than ever that the state Legislature act", Spitalnick said.
"In fact my first question when I heard about it was did they come out of the campaign, because that could be a little dicey", Trump said in the interview, a day after his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, implicated him and said the maneuver was created to sway the election.
Asked if he was considering a pardon for Manafort, Trump told Fox only that he has "great respect for what he has done, in terms of what he has gone through".
Meanwhile, Cohen was subpoenaed as part of a state investigation into whether the president's personal charitable foundation engaged in a decade-long pattern of self-dealing.
But Giuliani floated the idea that Manafort - who faces more charges more directly related to the Russian Federation probe - should hold out for a pardon.