While President Donald Trump has put on a good front when it comes to the threat of possible impeachment, a new report reveals that privately he is very nervous — and some members of the incoming Democratic House majority say he has every reason to be.
"We’re going take an MRI to his finances," Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., said of the president.
Donald Trump is alarmed at the fact that the walls seem to be closing in on him and he doesn't feel he has adequate allies either in Congress or within his own White House, according to multiple reports. NBC News elaborated on what has prompted these concerns more immediately in the president:
Trump's fear about the possibility has escalated as the consequences of federal investigations involving his associates and Democratic control of the House sink in, the sources said, and his allies believe maintaining the support of establishment Republicans he bucked to win election is now critical to saving his presidency.
This directly contradicts what Trump has been publicly claimed.
Earlier this week the president told Reuters that "it’s hard to impeach somebody who hasn’t done anything wrong and who’s created the greatest economy in the history of our country." He also added, when asked if he was concerned that he would be impeached, "I’m not concerned, no. I think that the people would revolt if that happened."
He also said in regard to his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who recently admitted in a court of law that he had paid hush money to cover up Trump's extramarital affairs in what could be considered an illegal campaign contribution by Trump, that "Michael Cohen is a lawyer. I assume he would know what he’s doing."
He later added, "Number one, it wasn’t a campaign contribution. If it were, it’s only civil, and even if it’s only civil, there was no violation based on what we did. OK?"
Trump expressed similar sentiments in a tweet on Thursday.
"I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law. He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law. It is called “advice of counsel,” and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made. That is why they get paid. Despite that many campaign finance lawyers have strongly......" Trump tweeted.
Yet in addition to Cohen, American Media Inc. — the company which owns the pro-Trump supermarket tabloid the National Enquirer — has also cut a deal with federal prosecutors in which they flip on Trump.
"The Office also announced today that it has previously reached a non-prosecution agreement with AMI, in connection with AMI’s role in making the above-described $150,000 payment before the 2016 presidential election," the U.S. attorney’s office explained in a statement. "As a part of the agreement, AMI admitted that it made the $150,000 payment in concert with a candidate’s presidential campaign, and in order to ensure that the woman did not publicize damaging allegations about the candidate before the 2016 presidential election. AMI further admitted that its principal purpose in making the payment was to suppress the woman’s story so as to prevent it from influencing the election."
All of these developments will most likely lead to House Democrats investigating Trump in a number of ways, a possibility that the president tried to stave off at a press conference last month by saying that while he was willing to collaborate with Democrats, he would not do so if they investigated him.
"We’re going to do both, and he doesn’t get to set the terms," Democratic congressman and potential presidential candidate Eric Swalwell told Salon. "The American people do, and they overwhelmingly sent a large majority to Congress. Leadership is working in a divided government trying to help the people who are counting on you and responding to lawful subpoenas that are sent over. We’re not going to be threatened or committed into not doing our job. The people who gave us the majority wouldn’t want us to do that anyway":
We’re going to conduct the oversight role that we are responsible for, especially where Republicans gave Donald Trump presidential immunity for two years. This guy has had two years of just free passes where he has not been reined in, and so, you’re essentially… it’s like essentially being responsible for a child for two years who’s had no rules and no accountability. It’s going to be a wake-up call for the President. I think he saw that in real time yesterday when he met with Leader Pelosi and Leader Schumer. We’ll investigate where the Republicans didn’t, and that means filling in the gaps with the Russian investigation, that means seeing his taxes to see if his financial interests are driving foreign and domestic policy. That means looking at how people are cashing in on access that he gives them... how he’s cashing in on access that he gives people to the White House.
When asked about the three-year prison sentence given to former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen on Wednesday, Swalwell told Salon that "I think it was an appropriate sentence, but also should be a warning shot to other people in Donald Trump’s orbit, that if you lie to try and protect the President there’s going to be a price to be paid. If you cooperate the sentence could be less harsh. Michael Cohen will probably spend a quarter of the time that Paul Manafort spends for the lies that he’s told, but the best thing you can do is to just come clean with investigators and not try and protect somebody completely unworthy of being protected."
It is important to remember that impeachment was not intended by the founding fathers to be a tool for removing a president simply because he is politically unpopular.
"Impeachment is a high bar. The founders wanted it that way," author and former CIA intelligence officer David Priess recently told Salon. "They wanted the voters to have a say in removing the president. They put an impeachment as a safety valve, but it was not a decision to be taken lightly. I don't think they assumed that every other president would be impeached, and then certainly not that many of them would be removed, but it is there. It is a constitutional tool to use when the president appears unfit for office."