First big-name Colorado Republican calls on Trump to resign

Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018 5:00 PM

The man who finished second in the Republican primary for governor in June is calling on President Donald Trump to resign in the wake of a guilty plea Tuesday by his former lawyer.

“Given the convictions and guilty pleas yesterday, it’s time for all Republicans to come together and call on President Trump to resign,” Victor Mitchell posted on Facebook early Wednesday. “Congress should also immediately commence impeachment.”

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, pleaded guilty Tuesday to eight criminal counts, including charges stemming from his payouts to women who had claimed to have had affairs with Trump. He admitted that the payments were made “in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” reportedly Trump himself, although the president was not named.

Besides Cohen, Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was found guilty Tuesday on eight felony tax and bank laws related to his private consulting work before joining Trump.

Mitchell said as he got in the governor’s race and throughout the primary that he did not vote for Trump in 2016, opting instead of independent but conservative candidate Evan McMullin.

His campaign manager, Ian Lindeman, is now the political director for GOP nominee Walker Stapleton, who has embraced Trump. Mitchell, like the other GOP contenders, said in a May debate put on by Colorado Politics, the Colorado Springs Gazette and the El Pomar Foundation that he would campaign with Trump if he got the nomination.

Cohen on Tuesday admitted in court to paying off a porn star, Stormy Daniels, before the 2016 election to keep quiet about an alleged affair with the president. The money was never reported on campaign paperwork and constitutes a felony election law.

Trump and his associates have acknowledged the $130,000 payment to Daniels in the days leading up to the election, as Trump was facing publicity related to extramarital affairs and abusive behavior toward women as a New York real estate tycoon and reality TV celebrity.

Last month, Trump was heard on a tape made by Cohen discussing paying $150,000 to bottle up the story from another alleged mistress, former Playboy playmate, Karen McDougal, who, like Daniels, is suing to tell her story now. The plea implicates the president in wrongdoing and Cohen’s lawyer said Wednesday is willing to talk to prosecutors.

Cohen “is more than happy to tell the special counsel all that he knows, not just about the obvious possibility of a conspiracy to collude and corrupt the American Democracy system in the 2016 election ... but also knowledge about the computer crime of hacking and whether or not Mr. Trump knew ahead of time about that crime and even cheered it on.” Lanny Davis, Cohen’s attorney, said on MSNBC Tuesday night.