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    Michael Cohen, formerly a lawyer for President Trump, leaves his hotel Monday, July 30, 2018, in New York.

    Trump’s 'Done a Good Job at Not Making This Mud Stick to His Supporters' - Prof

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    US President Donald Trump's former lawyer - Michael Cohen - has been sentenced to three years in jail for making illegal payoffs to two women who had affairs with Trump and also lying to Congress regarding an alleged 2016 plan by then-candidate Trump to build a Trump Tower building in Russia.

    Sputnik has discussed this with Ric Simmons, a former federal prosecutor and a law professor at Ohio State University.

    Sputnik: In what way is this now going to impact on President Trump's position?

    Ric Simmons: The president has done a good job, as you see, of not making his mud stick among his supporters. He's got a very strong core base, maybe about 30% of the population; very loyal to him, always going to essentially support whatever he says or does. And so the Cohen allegations and sentencing won't affect them at all. Trump has dismissed this, as you probably know, as a witchhunt.

    As far as other parts of the country, I think they've already made up their minds too, most of them about Donald Trump, and they're not going to really see much of a difference here from the sentencing. It could be more information comes out if Cohen makes more statements, but we're not necessarily expecting that at this point.

    READ MORE: ‘No Checks and Balances' on Prosecutors: Michael Cohen Imprisoned 3 Years

    As far as the talk of impeachment and so on, the Democrats will take over the House of Representatives in January. The leaders have been reluctant to talk about impeachment but, of course, there could always be more information that comes that makes that more likely. There's still the Mueller report to come out, maybe more allegations too. So we have to wait and see what happens there.

    Sputnik: There's been this underlying agenda with regard to conversation and gossip about whether Donald Trump will be impeached and that people would revolt if he were to be impeached, from your point of view then how likely is that? And does he really have that much public support?

    Ric Simmons: The president is prone to exaggerate sometimes in his interviews, in his tweets so the term revolt is probably a little strong. I'd be very surprised if there's a violent reaction or insurrection of any kind. I do think his core supporters would protest, would not be happy. I don't think it would get to a violent reaction, but before we even get to talk about impeachment we have to think about how practical that would be for the Democrats. The Democrats will control the House. They could impeach him with a vote in the House, but you can't be convicted.

    The impeachment can't actually happen unless you have a two-thirds vote in the Senate, and the Republicans will still control the Senate. So unless there's some huge amount of information that comes out that really damages the president, something really sticks to him and makes those supporters change their mind, I just don't see impeachment as something that's feasible. So, it might not even get started because Democrats know they can't get a conviction in the Senate.

    Sputnik: Most mass media in the US have been reporting that the US president has a very low rating of approval, how are Trump and his reforms actually perceived by the American public?

    Ric Simmons: Actually, he's stayed pretty constant throughout his tenure. His approval support has bounced between 35% and 42% which is very low, but hasn't really changed dramatically. His disapproval rate has also been in the high 50s — 55%, so it hasn't changed much. It's a deeply divided country. The Republicans, most of them, almost all Republicans have stayed by him because they like his economic policies.

    READ MORE: Mueller Asks for No Additional Prison Time for Cohen in Special Counsel Filing

    They like his judicial picks for the judiciary and they're willing to overlook his personal malfeasance, his illegal behaviour, and so on. Whereas Democrats, they very much don't like any of his policies. So they want to exaggerate or at least play up his personal failings and the crimes he might've committed. So, the media I think tends to be very strongly against him, the country is still pretty divided and it's going to be hard to ever see people come to an agreement on this.

    Sputnik: Calls for his impeachment have increased at a time when the US leader is at odds with Democrats, well I suppose he's at odds with Democrats all the way through his presidency, but we've got this particular spike now with regard to border security, the border wall, what's your particular take on this particular subject matter?

    Ric Simmons: Tightening up immigration policies was a very important issue to him and to his base. This is a long-running issue. They weren't able to get a compromise or resolve it in the last two years. So he was trying again with the Democratic leadership in that meeting that you referred to. It looks like they are no closer to agreeing to this. Democrats are not willing to give him the money for the wall unless he gives them something, and it is far as we can tell, he's not offering anything in return.

    So, it looks like at this point there might not be a deal, but Trump also has a habit of making very strong rhetorical statements, insults to people, and then maybe a few days, a week later coming back and saying that something had worked out. So it wouldn't be crazy to see some agreement, but at this point it does look like they're pretty far apart. And again this is an issue that is very important to Trump and his supporters. It would be hard for him to compromise too much on this, but maybe he can give something away in some other area about immigration policy.

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of Ric Simmons and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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