‘Amer­i­can people would re­volt’

Trump, Gi­u­liani warn against im­peach­ment

Calgary Herald - - WORLD - Ben ri­ley-Smith, nicK Allen And roznA SABur

• Don­ald Trump and his le­gal team Thurs­day hit back at sug­ges­tions that he could soon be impeached, with his lawyer say­ing that the U.S. people would “re­volt” if such a move was taken.

Rudy Gi­u­liani, the former New York mayor and now a le­gal ad­viser to Trump, said that it was “in­evitable” any at­tempt at im­peach­ment would fail.

Mean­while Trump him­self claimed that the stock mar­ket would “crash” and leave people across the coun­try “very poor” if he was ever forced from of­fice.

He also did not rule out par­don­ing Paul Manafort, his former cam­paign man­ager who was found guilty of bank and tax fraud just three days ago and now faces up to 80 years in jail.

The re­ac­tion came as de­tails emerged about “hush money” pay­ments made to two women who claimed af­fairs with Trump be­fore the 2016 elec­tion.

David Pecker, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Amer­i­can Me­dia, the firm be­hind the Na­tional En­quirer, agreed to talk to pros­e­cu­tors about the pay­ments in re­turn for im­mu­nity, The Wall Street Journal and Van­ity Fair re­ported Thurs­day.

Pecker, a long­time friend of Trump who is also on the board of direc­tors at Post­media Net­work Canada Corp., re­port­edly shared de­tails about what the pres­i­dent knew of the deals with Play­boy Play­mate Karen McDou­gal and porn star Stormy Daniels. McDou­gal was paid $150,000 and Daniels $130,000.

The Na­tional En­quirer bought and killed the sto­ries of the two women be­fore the elec­tion.

People fa­mil­iar with the sit­u­a­tion told The As­so­ci­ated Press that the pub­li­ca­tion kept a safe con­tain­ing doc­u­ments on hush money pay­ments and other dam­ag­ing sto­ries it killed as part of its re­la­tion­ship with Trump.

While Trump de­nies the af­fairs, his ac­count of his knowl­edge of the pay­ments has shifted. In April, he de­nied he knew any­thing about the Daniels pay­ment. He told Fox News in an in­ter­view aired Thurs­day that he knew about pay­ments “later on.”

Michael Co­hen, the pres­i­dent’s former lawyer who pleaded guilty to cam­paign fi­nance breaches, bank fraud and tax eva­sion on Tues­day, told the court that Trump or­dered him to make the deals.

Trump ad­mit­ted dur­ing the Fox News in­ter­view that the pay­ments came from him but de­nied break­ing any laws, in­sist­ing he did not use cam­paign funds.

He ac­cused Co­hen of im­pli­cat­ing him to get a bet­ter deal with pros­e­cu­tors.

“It’s called flip­ping and it al­most ought to be il­le­gal,” he said, be­cause people “just make up lies.”

By im­pli­cat­ing Trump as a co-con­spir­a­tor in a crime, Co­hen trig­gered fresh de­bate about im­peach­ment — a process in which Congress votes on re­mov­ing a sit­ting pres­i­dent.

Trump told Fox News: “I don’t know how you can im­peach some­body who’s done a great job. If I ever got impeached I think the mar­ket would crash. I think ev­ery­body would be very poor.”

Gi­u­liani, golf­ing in Scot­land, was equally dis­mis­sive in an in­ter­view with Sky News, paint­ing Co­hen as a liar and Trump as hav­ing lit­tle to an­swer. Asked if it was “in­evitable” Trump would be impeached, he re­sponded: “Hardly. I think it’s in­evitable that he won’t. Pres­i­dent Trump has been com­pletely cleared. You could only im­peach him for po­lit­i­cal rea­sons and the Amer­i­can people would re­volt against that.”

Im­peach­ment is still a way off. Both houses of Congress are held by the Repub­li­cans and few se­nior con­gress­men pub­licly back such a move.

Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Chuck Schumer said Thurs­day it’s time for Repub­li­cans to stand up to Trump. The Demo­crat said Repub­li­cans have be­come com­plicit in bring­ing down the char­ac­ter of the na­tion. He said they’ve shirked their duty in ex­change for a cor­po­rate tax cut and stack­ing the fed­eral courts.

The GOP, he says, is “be­com­ing a co-con­spir­a­tor in the cul­ture of cor­rup­tion that sur­rounds this pres­i­dent.”

He called on GOP lead­ers to pass leg­is­la­tion to pro­tect Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Rus­sia’s ac­tions in the 2016 elec­tions, to hold hear­ings on the power of the pres­i­dent to par­don and pass leg­is­la­tion to bol­ster elec­tion se­cu­rity.

Schumer says it is time for Repub­li­cans to “speak truth to power.”

Trump also lashed out at his at­tor­ney gen­eral, claim­ing that Jeff Ses­sions “never took con­trol of the Jus­tice Depart­ment” af­ter Trump put him there.

“You know, the only rea­son I gave him the job (was) be­cause I felt loy­alty, he was an orig­i­nal sup­porter,” the pres­i­dent said in the Fox News in­ter­view.

Ses­sions quickly hit back, declar­ing that he and his depart­ment “will not be im­prop­erly in­flu­enced by po­lit­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tions.”

I THINK EV­ERY­BODY WOULD BE VERY POOR.

YURI GRIPAS / BLOOMBERG

“I don’t know how you can im­peach some­body who’s done a great job,” U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump told Fox News.

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