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Chuck Todd calls Cohen testimony first 'unofficial hearing' of Trump impeachment process

Chuck Todd calls Cohen testimony first 'unofficial hearing' of Trump impeachment process
© Greg Nash

NBC's "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd said Wednesday that Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenThe Memo: Trump faces deepening legal troubles Trump lashes out after Supreme Court decision on his financial records Supreme Court declines to shield Trump's tax returns from Manhattan DA MORE's testimony before Congress was the first "unofficial hearing" in the impeachment of President TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE

"The fact of the matter is this is the first unofficial hearing of the impeachment process," Todd said of the testimony given by Trump's former lawyer. "Whether you want to call it that or not, that’s what history’s going to show this, at this point."

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"This is not going to be decided ... in courtrooms," Todd continued. "This is going to be decided in either a ballot box or on the floor of the United States Senate."

The NBC host later noted that there is "enough lack of evidence" at the moment "to at least plausibly keep the president protected."

Cohen, who was sentenced to three years in prison last year after pleading guilty to bank and tax fraud and campaign finance violations, on Wednesday publicly testified before the House Oversight and Reform Committee. 

His testimony included several allegations about Trump's involvement in crimes. Cohen, among other things, said that Trump directed him to break the law and make a nondisclosure payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels, who alleges she had an affair with the president. 

He also said that Trump called him in February 2018 and directed him to mislead the public about the president's knowledge of the payment. 

Many Republican lawmakers condemned Cohen's credibility, pointing to his admission that he made false statements to Congress about plans to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow. 

Rep. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarRep. Gosar denounces 'white racism' after controversial appearance Texas attorney general hits links with Trump before CPAC appearance Madison Cawthorn doesn't regret participating in Jan. 6 'Stop the Steal' rally MORE (R-Ariz.) at one point during the hearing called Cohen a "pathological liar" and said that no one should give him "credibility." 

While discussions about impeachment have gained attention, some high-ranking Democrats have signaled that it's premature to undergo that process. 

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump shows he holds stranglehold on GOP, media in CPAC barnburner Biden brings back bipartisan meetings at the White House McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE (D-Calif.) said in January that the effort to impeach Trump would have to be "bipartisan."