Continetti: Investigations Into Trump ‘Reaching a Critical Mass’


Washington Free Beacon editor in chief Matthew Continetti said Friday that the various investigations into President Donald Trump are reaching "a critical mass" as Democrats prepare to assume control of the House of Representatives in January.

"You have to separate the legal matters from the political matters. And the truth is, you have that Justice Department guidance that's been there for 40 years that says a sitting president can't be indicted. That is shielding him, I think, if the Justice Department continues to obey that guidance," Continetti said on MSNBC's "MTP Daily." "On the other hand, there's the politics of it. And the truth is, the Democratic House could find anything to impeach him on. And they might have a grab bag of Mueller and Stormy Daniels and whatever else—the inauguration. Things are kind of reaching a critical mass in terms of investigations."

Last week, special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors released court filings concerning investigations into Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, and former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. In the filings, prosecutors allege that Trump, referred to as Individual-1 in the court documents, directed Cohen to pay two women—porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal—to keep them silent about alleged affairs with the president.

Democrats have indicated that the filings implicate Trump in possible crimes that are impeachable offenses.

In the past, Trump has denied any knowledge of the payments. Cohen, however, recorded a conversation between him and Trump in which they discussed a payment to McDougal. The parent company of the National Enquirer, American Media Inc., admitted to helping facilitate the payment.

MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd asked Continetti whether these developments have damaged Trump's credibility.

"Matthew, I understand that the Republican defense on Capitol Hill is: but these—we're not going to impeach him for campaign finance crimes," Todd said. "But this is now evidentiary proof that he [Trump] lies. Does it chip away at his credibility over time?"

"Well, I think it's important to remember that Trump's credibility has always been evaluated relative to other persons," Continetti responded. "So in 2016, Trump's voters were aware of who he was, but they thought that Hillary Clinton was even less credible. In fact, if you go back to the exit poll, many worried that a Clinton administration would be filled with investigation that would last forever."

"So if you go into 2020 now, as we're doing, with the president's credibility, or lack thereof, well established, who do the Democrats nominate?" Continetti continued. "And is that somebody who has a more pristine kind of record and can run as the candidate of integrity? Are the Democrats going to nominate a Jimmy Carter-like figure?"

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