The Slatest

Trump Says “the People Would Revolt” if He Were Impeached

Trump gestures outward with both hands as he speaks. He is seated in the Oval Office, which is decorated for Christmas.
President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on Dec. 11. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

After a Friday memo from federal prosecutors appeared to implicate President Donald Trump in Michael Cohen’s campaign finance crimes related to hush money payments to women who allegedly had affairs with the president, Trump has maintained that he is not concerned about the possibility of impeachment.

“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,” Trump told Reuters in an interview Tuesday. He added: “I’m not concerned, no. I think that the people would revolt if that happened.”

Talk of impeachment appeared to boil up again after the release of the memo, which stated as fact that Trump appeared at a meeting with Cohen and National Enquirer President David Pecker to discuss a catch-and-kill payment to Karen McDougal. Cohen has also said that the president directed him to make a hush payment to Stormy Daniels. Both of these payments were found to be criminal. Some Democrats have argued that campaign finance violations could warrant impeachment, but other congressional leaders have expressed doubt that the crimes would be serious enough to justify impeachment proceedings.

Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday for his tax fraud and campaign finance crimes, as well as the charge brought by Mueller’s team for lying to Congress over details of a Trump Tower deal in Moscow. Trump, who has maintained that the Mueller probe is a “witch hunt” and that Cohen is lying to investigators to deflect blame from himself, said on Tuesday that Cohen should have known about campaign finance laws. “Michael Cohen is a lawyer. I assume he would know what he’s doing,” Trump said. He then added that, setting aside his own innocence in Cohen’s schemes, Cohen’s actions for his boss were not criminal. “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?”

More generally, he dismissed the special counsel investigation and called the Russia-related parts of the probe “peanut stuff.” He also tried to turn the conversation to Hillary Clinton’s vague and unspecified financial crimes and warned he would not work with Democrats if they continue to support the special counsel investigation and are “going to do presidential harassment.”