A former White House lawyer thinks that the US Congress will have soon no choice but to start impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
John Dean, who served as President Richard M. Nixon’s counsel from 1970 to 1973 and received jail time for his role in the Watergate scandal, made the remarks this week after prosecutors sought “substantial” prison term for Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer.
“I don’t know that this will forever disappear into some dark hole of unprosecutable presidents,” Dean, a CNN contributor, said Friday on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”
“I think it will resurface in the Congress. I think what this totality of today’s filings show that the House is going to have little choice, the way this is going, other than to start impeachment proceedings.”
On Friday, New York City’s US Attorney Robert Khuzami rejected Cohen’s request for significant leniency based on his cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
“Cohen, an attorney and businessman, committed four distinct federal crimes over a period of several years. He was motivated to do so by personal greed, and repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends,” Khuzami said in his court submission.
Khuzami cited the officially recommended sentence range of 51 to 63 months for Cohen, who was a top executive at the Trump Organization.
Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty to several counts of felony. Paul Manafort was found guilty of eight charges.
After a year under investigation, Cohen pleaded guilty on August 21 to charges of tax and financial fraud. He also pleaded guilty to violating election campaign finance laws by paying an adult film actress hush money on Trump’s behalf during the president’s election campaign.
Trump has so far denied the affairs and has not been accused of any felony related to the payments. However, when Cohen pleaded guilty in August he said that he had been directed by Trump.
“In his allocution, he implicated Trump directly,” Dean said of Cohen. “And he was doing it, his instructions, that’s why the payments were made and they were for his benefit.”
Prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo on Friday that “as Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1.”
Individual-1 is the term that has been used by prosecutors to refer to the President.