‘American people would revolt’
Trump, Giuliani warn against impeachment
• 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.
“I don’t know how you can impeach somebody who’s done a great job,” U.S. President Donald Trump told Fox News.