President Donald Trump has told people close to him in recent days that he is alarmed by the prospect of impeachment, as the consequences of federal investigations involving his associates and Democratic control of the House sink in, multiple sources told NBC News.
On Wednesday, federal prosecutors announced an agreement with American Media Inc, in which the publisher of the National Enquirer admitted to making a $150,000 payment in 2016 to silence a woman alleging an affair with Trump, in coordination with his presidential campaign, to prevent her story from influencing the election. That revelation came after Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen admitted that he violated campaign finance laws by arranging hush payments to women in 2016 at the direction of Trump.
“The entire question about whether the president committed an impeachable offense now hinges on the testimony of two men: David Pecker and Allen Weisselberg, both cooperating witnesses in the SDNY investigation," a close Trump ally told NBC News.
Weisselberg is the chief financial officer for Trump organization who was allegedly in the center of the hush money operation. He was reportedly granted immunity for his testimony. Pecker is the chief executive at AMI.