The same college professor who stunningly predicted Donald Trump’s presidential rise now sees him becoming just the third president in history to undergo impeachment proceedings.
American University scholar Allan Lichtman, who has also accurately predicted the results of every presidential election since 1982, details the new president’s projected shortcomings in a new novel. The longtime future he sees for Trump can’t come as good news for the grizzled businessman and political neophyte.
“Throughout his career, Trump has avoided accountability,” Lichtman told TIME magazine. “As president, though, you cannot walk away from accountability. You can’t declare bankruptcy, you can’t just abandon a deal. And the ultimate accountability is impeachment.”
In his new novel, The Case for Impeachment, Lichtman outlines eight possible reasons to impeach Trump, among them his business-related conflicts of interest, several of his associates disclosed ties to Russia and his scandal-ridden past involving such suits as the recently adjudicated Trump University suit.
Lichtman adds Trump faces the prospect of being impeached for a “crime against humanity” based on his unwavering refusal to take action on such issues as climate change.
“There are so many bases on which Trump can be impeached,” Lichtman said. “That’s one way in which he is more vulnerable to impeachment than any other figure who has been elected for the first time to the presidency of the United States.”
The book draws direct comparisons between Trump and Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, the only two presidents to ever be formally impeached. Both were impeached by the House of Representatives but acquitted by the Senate.
Lichtman also details the travails of Richard Nixon, who only avoided such a fate by resigning before the process could play out.
“What might distinguish a Trump impeachment from that of Clinton and Johnson is that the transgressions could be more Nixonian — that is, more serious, more threatening to our constitutional order, our liberties, our freedoms and our national security,” Lichtman said.
Lichtman added he thinks the most likely scenario that could lead to Trump’s removal from office are his Russian connections.
“There sure is a lot of smoke,” he said. “And my own suspicion is there’s some kind of fire that’s producing this smoke. Whether it’s serious enough to warrant impeachment, we don’t know yet.”
Even though Trump’s Republican Party currently controls both the House and the Senate, Lichtman indicated he believes enough Republicans will be willing to impeach Trump if concrete evidence surfaced to show his campaign colluded with Russia to interfere with the election.
“If the investigations do turn up some serious wrongdoing, I think even Republicans in Congress are not going to overlook it,” Lichtman added. “It’s a steep hill to climb.”
An average of 21 Republicans would have to join all the Democrats in both the House and Senate in voting for impeachment for a bill to remove Trump to pass. for it to pass. In the Senate, the two current independent office holders would also have to join the movement.
In the midst of all his grave projections, Lichtman’s book also offers Trump a “blueprint for surviving as president” that would allow him to escape such infamy. Among the suggestions are fully divesting from his business interests, supporting measures to prevent climate change, hiring a fact-checker and firing controversial chief strategist Steve Bannon.
“I hope he reads this book, and I hope he does change,” Lichtman said. “I am rooting for Trump to some extent because I am a believer in American democracy, and I would much rather see our democracy cherished and protected than see President Trump being removed.”
[Featured Image by Ron Sachs/Getty Images]