A beleaguered President Donald Trump insisted Monday that hush payments made to women before the 2016 election were legal, as he struggled to fill the key position of chief of staff -- made toxic by two years of White House turmoil.
While it remains unclear whether a sitting president can actually be indicted, the US leader has found himself cited in an FBI campaign finance probe.
The investigation has only deepened tensions as he ends his second year in office with top lieutenant John Kelly stepping down and opposition Democrats poised to take control of the lower house of Congress.
Reacting to court filings on Friday about hush money payments made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and porn star Stormy Daniels, Trump raged once again on Twitter that he was the victim of a "WITCH HUNT!"
Federal prosecutors in New York urged "substantial" jail time for the president's former lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty in August to bank fraud and campaign finance violations as a result of the payoffs to the two women, who claimed to have had sexual encounters with Trump.
Referred to as "Individual-1," Trump was directly implicated in ordering the payments -- which prosecutors believe aimed to influence the outcome of the election.