Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) said President Donald Trump had been credibly accused of serious crimes by his former attorney Michael Cohen -- and he said Democrats were preparing to hold him accountable.
Himes sits on the House Intelligence Committee, which heard closed-door testimony Thursday from Cohen, who also testified publicly before the House Oversight Committee and in another closed-door hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
"There are at least four or five areas where there is credible evidence that the president committed very serious crimes," Himes told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Cohen showed copies of checks for an illegal hush money payoff to porn actress Stormy Daniels, made while Trump was in office, and the former attorney implicated the president in the Russian conspiracy to interfere in the 2016 election.
"There is a huge amount of evidence that would implicate the president," Himes said.
Department of Justice guidelines prohibit the indictment of a sitting president, so Himes said Congress must consider impeachment.
"Impeachment is a trial," he said. "It is a consideration of behavior and whether that behavior is consistent with being president. So if the DOJ says we've got a whole bunch of evidence that the president misbehaved but we can't indict the president, what is the accountability mechanism?"
"On the one hand," he added, "Democrats have got to focus on what got us elected, but if there is compelling evidence that the president committed crimes -- and it sure looks look there is an awful lot of that out there -- we're in a little bit of a box, because the DOJ is telling us you are the only mechanism for accountability in the face of evidence of wrongdoing."