A Donald Trump impeachment seems significantly more likely the day after he had FBI Director Comey fired. In fact, cries to “impeach Trump now” will almost certainly increase as this current situation starts to resemble the Nixon Watergate scandal and the constitutional crisis that ensued. But will Republicans oppose a Trump impeachment, regardless of what Trump does or has done?
Seeing Director Comey fired yesterday did not – as Donald Trump apparently thought it would – eliminate media interest in the ongoing Donald Trump-Russia investigation or the possible Trump impeachment. On the contrary, it only puts a spotlight on the fact that having Comey fired represents the third time an investigator looking into the Trump administration’s possible ties to Russia has been fired or dismissed by Donald Trump.
As reported by CNN, Trump fired Attorney General Sally Yates and Preet Bharara, who was United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, while both of whom were investigating the Trump administration. At some point, it becomes difficult to ignore the possibility of a Trump impeachment, especially given that even Richard Nixon didn’t fire the FBI Director during the Nixon Watergate impeachment scandal.
Calls to Impeach Trump
Impeachment might seem highly improbable with a Republican-controlled Senate and House, but the cries to ‘impeach Trump’ will certainly grow louder now with Director Comey fired in the middle of his investigation of Donald Trump and the Trump administration’s possible ties to Vladimir Putin and Russia. And if records are found proving Trump’s alleged financial obligations to Russia, a Trump impeachment becomes increasingly possible.
As noted by CNN, with Comey fired from his position at the FBI, many are seeing parallels to the Nixon Watergate impeachment crisis of the 1970s in which Richard Nixon resigned to avoid being the first president removed from office in United States history. But will Republicans in the House actually vote to impeach Trump and convict him in the Senate? So far, they seem reluctant to consider a Trump impeachment.
But as the scandal continues to grow – and it likely will as long as Trump gives the appearance of fighting the investigation into the possible Trump-Russia relationship – one has to assume that senators and congressional representatives on the Republican side of the aisle will start to be concerned about their future reelection if they don’t step up and impeach Trump.
Trump Impeachment Implications
Ultimately, the fallout for Donald Trump and the Republicans over the Comey firing as FBI director could be considerable. However, the short-term benefits for Democrats of seeing the president impeached might be less than many people expect.
So just what happens in the event the House does vote for a Trump impeachment, and he is either removed by the Senate or resigns, following the Nixon Watergate pattern? It turns out that for Democrats, not much. The person who would assume office after a successful effort to impeach Trump is Vice President Mike Pence. Pence is – for many Democrats – even more extreme in his views than Donald Trump.
And assuming the Trump impeachment scandal somehow snared Pence into its web as well, the next person in line with Trump impeached is Republican Paul Ryan, the current Speaker of the House. So even with the president impeached, the current power structure in Washington won’t change that much. But of course, there is always the 2018 midterm election.
The party in power during a midterm election almost always loses seats in the House and the Senate. But a Trump impeachment in which he either resigns or is actually convicted and removed from office could combine with other negatives the Republicans are creating for themselves – such as eliminating Obamacare – to ensure a landslide Democratic victory in the 2018 election. So the true impact of the decision to impeach Trump might not be seen for almost two years.
[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]