Photographer: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Make no mistake: The presidency of Donald Trump has hit a major inflection point with the investigation of his personal lawyer Michael Cohen by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.
Until now, Trump personally was in jeopardy only if special counsel Robert Mueller’s team in Washington finds evidence that he knew about collusion between his campaign and Russia in the 2016 election. Even if that happens, there might not be enough to justify impeachment or a subsequent criminal charge of Trump. The president also has the power to fire Mueller to try to shut down the investigation, especially if he thinks Mueller is going beyond the terms of his appointment to investigate Russia.
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Now, however, the Southern District can investigate potential Trump crimes in any area connected to Cohen, a fixer who is known to have arranged payoffs to an adult film star who says she had an affair with Trump. These prosecutors can go back as far as they want before the election, not to mention during and after it.