Donald Trump’s chances of being impeached are rising, a global policy expert is warning after the revelation of Donald Trump Jr’s previously undisclosed meeting with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton.
The 2016 meeting, which was first reported last week, was a secret meeting that took place in Trump Tower and included Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort. Trump Jr. said nothing came of the meeting, but later he tweeted an email chain that showed he believed he was meeting with a Russian government official who had obtained the dirt on Clinton as part of a Russian state-sponsored campaign to help Trump win the presidency.
On Friday, NBC News reported that a former Soviet counter-intelligence officer was also at the meeting, a man who U.S. officials believe still has ongoing ties to Russian intelligence.
The revelation has ramped up the ever-growing Russian scandal surrounding Donald Trump and, according to one analyst, increased his odds of being impeached.
Tina Fordham, the chief global political analyst at Citi, wrote in a note that Trump’s risk of impeachment has grown since the scandal.
“Do these most recent developments, which suggest that key Trump advisers, including his son Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner met with a Russian lawyer (who had previously lobbied in Washington against the 2012 Magnitsky sanctions act), change the potential for impeachment?” Fordham wrote (via Business Insider). “It is of course too soon to say, but we believe the risk of impeachment proceedings is now higher than before, even if still not our base case.”
Protesters Rally in Dozens of Cities to Call for Trump's Impeachment https://t.co/Z0zufmNwiq
— Janet Shan (@hinterlandg) July 5, 2017
Fordham’s analysis comes as one Congressional Democrat has taken the first official step toward impeaching Donald Trump. Brad Sherman, a representative from California, filed an article of impeachment against Trump on Wednesday accusing the president of obstructing justice in the Russia investigation. As The Hill reported, there has been debate among Democrats as to when to begin pressing hard on impeachment, and Sherman is the first to take the leap.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) July 12, 2017
Fordham noted that the odds of Donald Trump being impeached remain low, and the political atmosphere seems to show that is the case. For Trump to be impeached and removed from office, it would take a majority of the House of Representatives and two-thirds of the Senate —- with both houses still being held by Republicans. While an increasing number of Republicans have spoken out against Donald Trump, they have remained shy of calling for impeachment, and it appears there would still need to be a sizable shift in the political landscape for that to happen, pundits note.
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