US Presidential election heading towards referendum on 'lock him up'

Donald Trump on Monday defended hush money payments reported by his former lawyer, responding a day after Democratic lawmakers said the USA president could face impeachment and jail time if the transactions are proven to violate campaign finance laws.

The Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, which provides legal advice and guidance to executive branch agencies, has maintained that a sitting president can not be indicted.

According to the sentencing memo, Cohen "acted in coordination with and at the direction of" Trump, a.k.a. "Individual-1".

Individual 1 being then candidate Trump.

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.

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said on ABC's "This Week" that he'll continue pushing for legislation to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired.

We also learned that Trump was offering a bribe of a $50 million condo to President Putin to push his project forward.

President Donald Trump is in legal and political jeopardy, and he doesn't seem to know it.

If Democrats move to impeach Trump, it will likely be for more than just campaign finance violations. But Trump said the payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal were "done correctly by a lawyer and there would not even be a fine".

The case stemmed from a federal investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with Trump's campaign. Cohen made it go away. He has denied wrongdoing. Indeed, if the president was not implicated, I suspect they would not have prosecuted Cohen for campaign finance violations at all.

Top House Democrats have raised the prospect of impeachment or the real possibility of prison time for President Trump if it's proved that he directed illegal hush money payments to women, adding to the legal pressure on the president over the Russian Federation investigation and other scandals.

"Well, I hate to say it", she said on MSNBC, "but it's like I'm going to say it: I told you so".

Thune continued, "Campaign finance violations are something that ... they are serious matters, but obviously it depends a little bit on how it gets treated".

But he did note that the Democrats will step up their own investigations on the matter come January. Moreover, at this point, Trump can not discount the possibility that even more crimes will be revealed in the course of the SDNY's work or that of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

FILE - House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jerry Nadler talks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 28, 2018.

The Trump Organization's reimbursements to Mr. Cohen for payments were fraudulently disguised as legal fees - and, according to the memo, were approved by senior executives at the organization.

On Friday, the President wrote in the short message service Twitter, he'll explained to you by Mueller's new documents in the Cohen case is "completely" innocent.

"They would be impeachable offences", Mr Nadler said of the illegal payments. "But I think we need to know what is the quality of the proof on that".

Freshmen lawmakers who won competitive districts and handed Democrats the majority have made it clear they don't want to focus on issues like impeachment.

  • Rogelio Becker