President Trump May Face 'Real Prospect of Jail Time,' Says Adam Schiff

The top democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said today there is a "real prospect" President Trump could face "jail time" after leaving the White House.

Rep. Adam Schiff spoke to "Face the Nation" in the wake of Friday's sentencing recommendation for Michael Cohen―which appeared to implicate the president (under the title "Individual 1") by saying the former fixer had "acted in coordination with and at the direction" of Trump.

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

Federal prosecutors alleged due to Cohen's attempts to suppress stories that would have been damaging to Trump he "acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election."

The alleged campaign finance violations centred around payments made to two women―Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal―in order to buy their silence about affairs with Trump, it was said.

The Southern District of New York filing read: "As Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to...payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1." A second filing, from Robert Mueller, detailed a 2015 offer for "synergy on a government level" with Russia.

After the documents were published, Trump tweeted: "Totally clears the President. Thank you!"

Schiff pointed out that the filings did the opposite. He said: "All the arguments they make against Michael Cohen, [that] the rich and powerful seem to live by a different set of rules…that argument was equally made with respect to Individual-1, the President of the United States."

"It is clear the justice department here is making the argument that the principle purpose of these payments was to effect the election," he added. "Cohen has admitted as much. To have the justice department basically say the President of the U.S. not only coordinated but directed an illegal campaign scheme that may have had an election-altering impact is pretty breathtaking."

.@AdamSchiff on the Russia Investigation: My takeaway is 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.

— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) December 9, 2018

In a statement Friday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the filings "in Mr. Cohen's case tell us nothing of value that wasn't already known." She added: "Mr. Cohen has repeatedly lied and as the prosecution has pointed out to the court, Mr. Cohen is no hero."

On the subject of potential impeachment, Schiff said alleged campaign law violations have to be viewed "in the context of other allegations of wrongful conduct by the president."

He said: "We also learn from Michael Cohen that at a time during the campaign when [Trump] was the presumptive Republican nominee and he was telling the country he has no dealings with Russia, in fact they were having private conversations seeking to enlist the Kremlin's help in a project that could make him tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, a project that might need Putin's approval while they were arguing that sanctions on Russia should go away."

Schiff added on Face the Nation: "That's pretty breathtaking and―and we need to keep in mind that what Mueller is telling us, what the southern district of Newark is telling us in these filings, is not even the most significant evidence they have which they're continuing to redact."

President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump delivers remarks on supporting veterans and military families at the White House. Trump may face "jail time," Adam Schiff said on December 9, 2018. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images