Less than two years into his presidency and there is talk of U.S. President Donald Trump being impeached. As various independent investigations around him are charging his closest aides during his election campaign of a series of crimes, the noose seems to be tightening around the man that half of America thought did not deserve to be their leader.
In the past 48 hours, two of Trump’s close aides – Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen were found guilty of crimes for which they will serve prison sentences. Of this, his former personal-lawyer, Cohen pleaded guilty to federal election campaign finance law violations. But while doing so, he directly implicated the President as the cause of his crime. The crime – paying off ‘hush money’ to two women – Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to buy their silence was done, so that their claims of extra-marital affairs with Donald Trump does not harm his chance at the Presidency.
Cohen's lawyer Lanny Davis asked after the proceedings, "If those payments (of hush money) were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn't they be a crime for Donald Trump?"
Investigation is on into multiple charges surrounding Trump including possible collusion of his campaign with Russia to harm Hillary Clinton’s campaign. But, there is a long U.S. Department of Justice guideline that says a sitting president cannot be charged. However, the President can be impeached.
The U.S. constitution states a president "shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanours".
After the Cohen news, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren was repeatedly pressed to say whether she thought the Cohen allegations, alone, merited impeachment hearings.
The possible 2020 Democratic presidential front-runner said she wasn't "nervous" about discussing the topic, but that it was important to let the special counsel investigation conclude before deciding on a "next step".
"We have an ongoing investigation that has been in place that is much more sweeping, that is much broader than simply the one thing that happened in New York court yesterday," she told CNN. "If you really want to look at what Donald Trump has done and what kind of responsibility he should have, let's get that investigation finished as well."
At some point in the near future, Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team will release the findings of their probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, whether any collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign existed and whether Trump obstructed justice by getting in the way of the investigation. If evidence is presented in the report then logic leads to the fact that even if Trump cannot be charged he should not be allowed to continue as President.
There is hence increasing noise that if Donald Trump is found guilty of committing a crime as he cannot be charged, he should be impeached.