Michael Cohen’s testimony that Donald Trump told him to violate campaign finance laws is sparking fresh calls for impeachment, with #Resistors curiously silent on how ‘Russia collusion’ became ‘giving women hush money.'
The conviction of Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, on tax and bank fraud charges, coupled with news that the president’s former attorney Cohen, pleaded guilty to a range of charges on the same day, sent social media and news outlets into a frenzy, with many calling for – or speculating about – Trump’s removal from office.
But the latest calls for impeachment were not sparked by evidence provided by Manafort or Cohen pointing to Trump’s collusion with Moscow. Instead, Cohen’s testimony that then-candidate Trump ordered him to pay off two women ahead of the 2016 presidential election, in violation of campaign finance laws, is now seen as the smoking (but not very Russian) gun.
The media immediately seized on the revelation, with Politico reporting that Cohen’s accusations have “fuelled impeachment fears”in the White House and could embolden Robert Mueller’s probe – “even if they are unrelated to allegations of collusion with Russia.”
Democratic lawmakers have also spoken out about Tuesday’s court rulings. Congressman David Price said that it would be wrong to rule out the possibility of impeaching the president if the Democrats win a majority in Congress after the midterm elections. “I expect that we will confront [impeachment]. At a minimum, we’re going to confront the need to investigate a great many things.”
Media coverage of Cohen's guilty plea hints at looming trouble for Trump
Senator Ron Wyden insisted that Cohen’s crimes could be traced back to Donald Trump, and any attempt by the president to pardon his former associates would “constitute high crimes and misdemeanors” – the Constitution’s threshold for impeachment.