The guilty plea from President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen is grounds for impeachment, according to ex-Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks.
“This is clear evidence that the president committed crimes and that is grounds for impeachment, there is no question of it,” Wine-Banks said late Tuesday, The Hill reports.
“I know that he will defend on saying, ‘but this isn’t Russia.’ Well I don’t care that it’s not Russia. It’s not Russia gate, but it’s still Trump gate.”
This week, as Vox reported, Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight federal crimes, including an illegal payoff to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. Cohen faces up to 65 years in prison, but he has entered a deal with the prosecutors, so might only serve three to five years.
While first five counts were, as Vox noted, banal tax evasion allegations, the last three counts concern: making a false statement to a financial institution, willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, making an excessive campaign contribution.
The false disclosure count is related to the Stormy Daniels case, and the unlawful contribution count pertains to Cohen’s efforts to use Trump’s allies at American Media Inc to pay off another woman, Karen McDougal. The “excessive contribution” was Cohen’s transfer of $130,000 to Stormy Daniels.
In other words, as Vox noted, Cohen has pleaded guilty in federal court to making hush money payments on behalf of now-POTUS Donald Trump. These are, according to legal experts Vox interviewed, serious charges, and impeachable offenses.
According to former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks, these are “crimes by the president of the United States,” and they “affected the election.”
Two days ago, on August 21, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman suggested that Donald Trump’s closest confidants are worried about impeachment “more than before.”
“The thinking goes like this: this is something tangible, not a theoretical. And it didn’t come from Mueller,” Haberman tweeted.
According to an analysis conducted by the Independent, Donald Trump is facing “real risk” of impeachment after Cohen, and Manafort cases. Manafort’s conviction, and Cohen’s plea deal “significantly” raise odds of Trump’s impeachment, especially considering that it is now highly likely that Cohen will collaborate with Robert Mueller, aiding the special counsel in the Russia probe.
Furthermore, “there is a growing consensus” that the POTUS has surrounded himself with criminals, at least among Democrats and independent voters, and Manafort’s conviction, as well as Cohen’s plea deal, contradict Trump’s claims that Mueller’s probe is a “witch hunt,” the Independent concluded.