Lawrence O'Donnell on Mueller filing: 'Trump will be, must be impeached'

MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell said Friday night that "Donald Trump will be, must be impeached" for "two alleged campaign finance violation crimes," detailed in filings from federal prosecutors and the special counsel's office that day.

O'Donnell, a former aide to the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), said on MSNBC that if then-candidate Trump lost the election in 2016, federal prosecutors would be "pursuing exactly the same consequences" as President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again MORE's former longtime lawyer, Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenHouse Intelligence Committee to subpoena Trump associate Felix Sater Hicks repeatedly blocked by White House from answering Judiciary questions The Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle MORE.

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“If Donald Trump lost the election and federal prosecutors were pursuing this same case, he would be pursuing exactly the same consequences as Michael Cohen,” the "Last Word" host said Friday night. “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.”

“Congress moved to impeach Richard Nixon when the special prosecutor described his crimes," he continued. "The House of Representatives moved to impeach, and did in fact impeach, Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson Clinton'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again Impeaching the president: At what cost, and by what method? The Evergreen State and the soul of the Democratic Party MORE 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," O'Donnell said.

O'Donnell's comments came after federal prosecutors in New York recommended that Cohen receive “substantial” prison time for several federal crimes, despite his cooperation with ongoing law enforcement investigations, including in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's Russia probe.

Prosecutors argue that the payments were meant to influence the election, thereby violating campaign finance laws. Cohen had previously implicated Trump when he pleaded guilty in August to violating campaign finance laws in relation to the payments.

O'Donnell has called for Trump's impeachment before, including earlier this week, arguing that all of the president's Twitter attacks on Mueller are each an effort to obstruct justice.

"Every single one of those Donald Trump's now countless public attacks on Robert Mueller, every single Trump tweet attacking Robert Mueller is an impeachable offense, according to the Congress that brought articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon," he said on MSNBC on Monday.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to the Mueller filings on Friday, stating they contained "nothing of value that wasn't already known."

“The government’s filings in Mr. Cohen’s case tell us nothing of value that wasn’t already known," Sanders wrote. "Mr. Cohen has repeatedly lied and as the prosecution has pointed out to the court, Mr. Cohen is no hero.”

Trump claimed the filing "totally clears" him of any wrongdoing in a tweet to his more than 56 million followers.