Dec 10, 2018 08:38 UTC
  • ‘Real prospect of jail time’ for Trump after leaving office, lawmaker warns

US President Donald Trump could "face the real prospect of jail time" over directing illegal payments during his 2016 presidential campaign, as indicated by prosecutors last week, says a senior lawmaker, who is likely to be the next chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

"There’s a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict him. That he may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time," said California Democratic Representative Adam Schiff Sunday on CBS.

In a legal filing released Friday, federal prosecutors referred to Trump as "Individual-1" who directed his former personal Attorney, Michael Cohen, to make illegal payments.

Cohen, Trump's longtime fixer, made payments during the 2016 campaign to two women – adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – to silence them from speaking publicly about affairs they had with Trump.

"We have been discussing the issue of pardons the president may offer to people or dangle in front of people," Schiff said. "The bigger pardon question may come down the road, as the next president has to determine whether to pardon Donald Trump."

As part of a Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and Trump’s associates, as well as potential obstruction of justice and financial crimes, four people -- Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and George Papadopolous -- have been charged, pleaded guilty, or have been convicted at trial.

 “I think the prosecutors in New York make a powerful case against that idea," he added. "All the arguments they make against Michael Cohen ... that argument was equally made with respect to Individual-1, the president of the United States.”

This is while the president believes that the investigation is a "hoax," a “witch hunt,” or a “scam.”

The investigation seeks to find out whether the Russian government coordinated with Trump’s aides after the intelligence community’s conclusion that the Kremlin helped with the New York billionaire's campaign effort's.