More and more people are calling for Donald Trump’s impeachment as his administration finds itself increasingly racked by scandal. For an ordinary president, the growing threat of such impeachment—a recent poll, for instance, shows that 48 percent of Americans now support it—might be cause for some concern.
But for Trump, there’s reason to suspect the opposite might be true. Impeachment, which is typically a scare word in Washington, may for him be an ideal occurrence.
It’s clear, for instance, that Trump has been somewhat surprised by the difficulty associated with his new job, and that he also feels some longing for the life he left behind.
In an interview he gave late in April, Trump explained, “I loved my previous life, I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. I actually, this is more work than my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”
He added, “I do miss my old life. This—I like to work. But this is actually more work.”
And indeed, when one considers the number of self-inflicted wounds his presidency has suffered—a presidency that one high-profile figure has claimed he never wanted in the first place—the idea that Trump is actively striving to get himself removed from office does not seem so far-fetched.
— SafetyPin-Daily (@SafetyPinDaily) May 17, 2017
Some of the decisions he has made since becoming president were so patently misguided that they strain belief. Regarding these decisions, it becomes hard to imagine Trump had no idea of the uproar they would cause ahead of time. And if he did know, and decided to go through with them nonetheless, one has to wonder at the motivation behind that.
Take, for example, the meeting Trump had with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the oval office. The meeting, which came the day following Trump’s dismissal of FBI Director James Comey, struck many as being extremely fishy. Not only had Comey been investigating the Trump team for possible collusion with the Russians, but Kislyak himself was at the center of that very investigation.
It’s tough to believe Trump was clueless enough to think he could arrange such a meeting without anyone finding out and raising a storm about it.
Then there was the Comey firing itself, which Trump even admitted had something to do with the Russian investigation.
Where the predictable move for somebody in Trump’s shoes would have been to deny the connection, Trump went so far as to affirm it himself in an interview with Lester Holt. This allowed some of his opponents to claim that the admission proved he had caused an obstruction of justice—one of the possible grounds for impeachment.
Again, was it mere incompetence on Trump’s part, or was it a way to get himself removed from office?
Another story he had failed to deny was the recent bombshell about his sharing highly classified information with the Russian figures mentioned above. In fact, he seemingly admitted as much on Twitter the morning after the story broke.
In a series of tweets, Trump wrote that he had “wanted to share” facts with Russia, and argued that he had the right to do so.
As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2017
…to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2017
Indeed, as president he did have the legal authority to declassify and share the information at will. But the sheer controversy of the act, especially as it involved handing over to an adversarial nation something that could endanger our own and our ally’s national security, engendered some of the harshest criticism of his presidency so far.
If Trump was looking to make friends or improve his image, his decision to apparently acknowledge the move on Twitter, without apology, would seem to do the exact opposite.
— Slate (@Slate) May 17, 2017
All of these gaffes, along with the many others that have occurred throughout Trump’s time as president, may simply be the ignorance of someone who has never held public office before and is learning, quite painfully, on the job.
But the possibility remains that Trump is dissatisfied with the daily pressures of the presidency and so wants out. An impeachment would furnish him with the opportunity of saying that he had been somehow wronged by a corrupt system, and more importantly, it would prevent him from having to admit his own desire to escape the demands of the office. A pardon from Pence would almost certainly follow.
If Trump were, in fact, impeached by the House of Representatives, the case would not simply end there. He would still need the Senate to find him guilty before the expulsion could come to fruition.
To learn more about the impeachment process and to read about other presidents who have been impeached, check out the link here.
[Featured Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images]