Trump in trouble again

Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen has incriminated the president while under oath, admitting that hush money was paid to two women who wanted to make their affairs with Trump public during the election campaign in 2016 - in violation of campaign financing laws. In a separate hearing, Trump's ex-campaign chief Paul Manafort was found guilty on various counts of fraud. Will Trump manage to stay in the White House?

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Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

Lies catch up with you in the end

The US judiciary is proving its worth as a pillar of democracy, Hospodářské noviny concludes:

“Michael Cohen's admission that paying hush-money to two of Trump's sex partners violated the law on the financing of political campaigns potentially paves the way for impeachment proceedings. In the US, where populists can lie their way right to the top, the system of checks and balances still functions as it should. Now matter how intensive the 'witch hunt' - as Trump is calling the investigation into his ties to Russia during the election campaign - becomes, the work being done by special investigator Robert Mueller confirms the old saying that lies catch up with you.”

Libération (FR) /

Judiciary effectively counters populism

Populists like Trump denounce the establishment's mistakes but take the liberty of breaking the law at will, Libération notes, asking:

“Will Tuesday's judgements put an end to such double standards? As far as the politicians are concerned, one has reason to doubt this. Over the last two decades, campaigns aimed at bashing the so-called 'mainstream' politicians and media by the far left and far right have undermined public debate and worked in the populists' favour. But hope now comes from the judiciary, which generally remains unaffected by swings in public opinion. ... What politics can't do, the judiciary, founded as it is on evidence or confessions, can.”

De Standaard (BE) /

Not Watergate by a long shot

Trump will also be able to turn this latest attack to his advantage, De Standaard believes:

“It wouldn't be the first time that Trump transforms a seeming catastrophe into new fuel for an endless campaign. After all, isn't the urgent desire of those who serve the establishment to topple him the ultimate proof that he's out to make real changes and drain the political swamp? There's no sign of him losing impetus: the former casino boss and television star still casts himself as the advocate of the man on the street. At the same time, he seems to be getting an increasingly firm grip on the lever of power and is surrounding himself with stronger figures than he did at the start. It's still too early to start placing bets on his forced departure.”

The Times (GB) /

Impeachment would be a big mistake

The Democrats should focus on concrete issues instead of pinning all their hopes on impeachment, The Times counsels:

“It's not just because if they do get rid of Trump they effectively elect the culture warrior Mike Pence. It's because for the period of the proceedings they will inevitably be substituting process for politics. … But a successful 2020 presidential bid, which after all begins pretty soon, requires so much more. The Democrats have to be the party of growth, fair taxes, decent health provision, infrastructural improvement, of the working person as well as of the entrepreneur. .... But as Americans might put it, impeachment is an O2-suck. It detracts from the task.”