‘Donald Trump must be impeached’: MSNBC's Lawrence O’Donnell says Democrats have no choice
MSNBC anchor Lawrence O'Donnell (screengrab)

MSNBC anchor Lawrence O'Donnell said that House Democrats have no choice but to initiate impeachment proceedings after Democrats take control of the chamber in January.

"It's merely a relatively recent Justice Department tradition -- outlined only in memo form -- that says the president should not be indicted," O'Donnell reported. "And so the only conceivable reason why Donald Trump has not been indicted as a co-conspirator in the Cohen case is that he won the presidential election, that he conspired with Michael Cohen to illegally affect."

"If Donald Trump lost the election and federal prosecutors were pursuing this same case, he would be pursuing exactly the same cases as Michael Cohen. He would be charged with exactly the same two campaign finance violation crimes for arranging secret payments to two women during the campaign to buy their silence about their sexual affairs with Donald Trump," O'Donnell explained.

"Michael Cohen said under oath -- repeatedly -- that Donald Trump was a co-conspirator in his crimes," he noted. "The prosecutors have now said -- repeatedly -- that Donald Trump was a coconspirator in Michael Cohen's crimes."

"And now Michael Cohen is facing substantial prison time for those same crimes. And Donald Trump is facing ... what?" he wondered.

"Will Donald Trump be the only president in history accused by federal prosecutors of committing federal crimes who does not then face impeachment for those crimes?" he asked.

"Congress moved to impeach Richard Nixon when the special prosecutor described his crimes," he reminded. "The House of Representatives moved to impeach, and did in fact impeach, Bill Clinton when the special prosecutors showed that he committed perjury in that civil case involving Paula Jones."

"And so if history means anything in the Trump era, if precedent means anything in the Trump era, Donald Trump will be -- must be -- impeached because of the crimes prosecutors say he committed in the Michael Cohen case," he concluded.