Transcript for Congress reacts to memos implicating Trump in federal crime
The choice of a new white house chief of staff set against the backdrop of legal troubles for president trump on two fronts, the Russia investigation and those illegal payments made to stormy Daniels and Karen Mcdougal during the campaign. A top house Democrat says those payments may be grounds for impeachment and our chief congressional correspondent Mary Bruce is tracking the story. Good morning. Reporter: Good morning, George. The president is putting his own spin on this story saying he is happy with what he is reading and he is totally cleared. That is not the picture these documents paint. Actually, far from it, and the big question on the hill this morning, could these new revelations push house members to impeach? As the fallout grows from those court filings, president trump insists he is in the clear. I think it's all turning around very nicely. Reporter: But the documents tell a very different story, putting the president in growing legal and political jeopardy. Democrats are sounding the alarm. This investigation is now starting to put the president in serious legal crosshairs and he should be worried and the whole country should be worried. Reporter: On one front, Robert Mueller's investigation is revealing new efforts of Russia to build a political alliance and political synergy. Despite the president calling himself in the clear, his top ally not saying that's the case. You're not cleared or anyone, until Bob Mueller shuts down his office and hands in the keys. Reporter: But the big legal problem facing the president could be the prosecutors in new York that trump's fixer Michael Cohen gave hush money to two women during the campaign to remain silent about alleged affairs. That he acted in coordination with and at the direction of individual-1, Donald Trump. That could implicate the president in federal finance felonies, and a top Democrat says it could be grounds for impeachment. They would be impeachable offenses. Whether they are important enough to justify an impeachment is a different question. Reporter: And even if the congress doesn't act to impeach, the president's legal trouble may be far from over. The justice department may indict him. Reporter: Now on the question of impeachment, democratic leaders have made clear they want to wait and see what Mueller finds. See his report before they make any moves, but what one thing that is definitely clear here, they will do everything they can to get to the bottom of this. No question about that. Thanks. Let's bring in our chief legal analyst, Dan Abrams. Let's start with the campaign final allegation. The prosecutors made it pretty clear even though they are not saying they are indicting the president now, they basically accused him of a serious felony. You have to read the sentencing because it makes clear how serious they are treating this crime first of all, and they are saying it was done to subvert the campaign finance laws. It was done to impact the election and it was done in coordination and at the direction of Donald Trump. These prosecutors are saying, this matters. This is an important crime, and they are essentially saying that Donald Trump was behind it. The question is can or will they indict? There has been justice department guidance against indicting a sitting president. What other options do they have? Well, look. I think there is a possibility that they could indict. They could certainly at the very least make him an unindicted coconspirator. Meaning that could announce publicly his name in a document which essentially says he we believe, is a conspirator in here, but we're not going to indict him. They could also wait if he doesn't re-run re-election or win, certainly the statute of limitations would allow him to prosecute after, but this is astonishing. This is not Mueller's team, and the 17 angry Democrats that the president has been talking about. The southern district of new York. This is the southern district of New York prosecutors. This is a separate team who is making this statement. In the meantime, Mueller's team has established that the Russians were involved in a conspiracy to interfere in our elections. They established contacts between people in trump's orbit and the Russians. They know trump's team lied about it. What more does Mueller have to do? Two huge indictments. 12, Russians, 13 Russians for hacking and sowing discord. Can you link the trump campaign to either of those indictments? That is the big outstanding question here, but when they say that Michael Cohen is offering information at the core of the Russia investigation, that should make the trump team nervous. Much more to come. Thanks very much.
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