>> Mr. President, did you know Michael Cohen?>> President Trump saying on Monday there's nothing illegal about buying the silence of women who claim to have slept with him. Responding to federal prosecutors who call it a crime, and say he was involved. Trump on Monday calling those payments, quote, a simple private transaction that should not be a criminal case.
I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington, where those hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and another woman are rapidly turning from embarrassment to liability for Trump. Giving more ammunition to his Democratic critics, and for the first time raising the possibility that he could face prosecution for actions taken during the 2016 presidential election.
Trump's reaction a sign that he is keenly aware of the stakes. US prosecutors saying for the first time in a legal filing on Friday that Trump had directed his lawyer, Michael Cohen, to make secret payments to Daniels, and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Saying those payments were illegal because they were designed to help Trump win the election.
Cohen's facing years in prison after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations, as well as tax and bank fraud, due to be sentenced on Wednesday. Trump has said in the past that he did not sleep with either women, and he has offered shifting accounts of his role in the payments.
>> Did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?>> No, no.>> President Trump is engaging in a->> Democrat Jerry Nadler, who's due to head the House Judiciary Committee, raised the specter of impeachment on CNN on Sunday. Saying the court documents reveal massive fraud, adding they would be impeachable offenses.
Adam Schiff, top Democrat on the House Intelligence Panel, said Trump could also face criminal liability when he leaves the White House.>> 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 sometime to face the real prospect of jail time.
>> Republicans playing down the campaign finance violations, saying they should not be over-criminalized. These hush money payments for a long time have seemed like a tabloid sideshow to the main story. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. But bit by bit, prosecutors are pulling those two stories together, building a case that Trump may have misled voters, both on his dealing with Russia and on his dealings with women.
Trump has not yet been directly accused of breaking the law, but there's certainly more to come.>> Paul Manafort, sir.