Trump claims he’s ‘not concerned’ about impeachment because there would be a ‘revolt’

'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,' adds president

Chris Baynes
Wednesday 12 December 2018 11:01
Key Watergate figure John Dean says Congress will have to 'start impeachment proceedings' against Donald Trump following court filing

Donald Trump has insisted he is “not concerned” about the threat of impeachment because “the people would revolt if that happened”.

The president, who has been implicated in campaign finance violations admitted by his former personal lawyer, claimed it would be “hard to impeach somebody who hasn’t done anything wrong”.

Federal prosecutors said last week that Mr Trump had directed Michael Cohen to make six-figure payments to two women to stop them speaking about alleged affairs with the Republican candidate ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Mr Cohen, who has pleaded guilty to eight charges and will be sentenced on Wednesday, has also said the hush money was paid “at the direction of the candidate” to prevent the allegations scuppering his campaign.

In court documents filed last week in New York, prosecutors said the payments broke laws that stipulate all campaign contributions must be disclosed and limited to $2,700 per person (£2,150.)

Democrats have suggested violating such laws would be an impeachable offence, although senior party leaders in congress have questioned whether it would be serious enough to warrant politically charged proceedings.

Impeachment requires a simple majority to pass the House of Representatives, where Democrats will take control in January. But removal of the president from office requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate, where Mr Trump’s fellow Republicans hold sway.

Asked if he was worried about the threat of being removed from office, Mr Trump told Reuters on Tuesday: “I’m not concerned, no. I think that the people would revolt if that happened.”

He added: “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.”

Mr Trump has wrongly claimed dozens of times that the US economy is stronger under his presidency than it has ever been before.

The president has denied colluding with his former lawyer over the hush-money payments, claiming that Mr Cohen was lying about his involvement to secure a lighter sentence.

“Michael Cohen is a lawyer. I assume he would know what he’s doing,” he added.

The president also insisted the money, paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, “wasn’t a campaign contribution”.

He repeated his claim that the campaign finance violations would be a “civil” offence, rather than criminal.

Mr Trump said: “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?”

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Asked about prosecutors’ assertions that at least 14 people who had worked for him met or had business dealings with Russians before and during his 2016 presidential campaign, Mr Trump said: “The stuff you’re talking about is peanut stuff.”

The president has repeatedly dismissed special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between his campaign team and a Moscow as a “witch hunt”.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments