This means the only solution to any clash that Mr Trump sets up between the courts and the voters is a political one.
Ultimately the decision to remove a president is a matter of politics, not law.
It could hardly be otherwise, as America’s Founding Fathers foresaw.
In “Federalist 65”, Alexander Hamilton explained why it was the Senate, rather than the Supreme Court, that should sit in judgment on the president,
for “who can so properly be the inquisitors for the nation as the representatives themselves?”
No other body, he thought, would have the necessary “confidence in its situation” to do so.
Alas, that confidence has gone missing, leaving American democracy in a strange place.
Thus far Republicans in Congress have stood by the president.
The only thing likely to change that is a performance in the mid-terms so bad that enough of them come to see the president as an electoral liability.
Although Democrats may well win a majority in the House, a two-thirds majority in the Senate—the threshold required to remove a president—looks unachievable.
Mr Cohen’s plea has made the president of the United States an unindicted co-conspirator in a pair of federal crimes.
That makes this a sad week for America.
But it is a shameful one for the Republican Party, whose members remain more dedicated to minimising Mr Trump’s malfeasance than to the ideal that nobody, not even the president, is above the law.