Donald Trump could be headed to a quick impeachment, with a number of political experts predicting that the president-elect’s business conflicts and unconstitutional promises could put him on the fast track for impeachment hearings from Congress.
Trump has been embroiled in a series of controversies in the wake of his shocking victory in the 2016 presidential election, as critics have seized on some unpopular appointments and Trump’s reluctance to separate his business interests from the presidency.
Much of the impeachment talk has centered on Donald Trump’s reported plans to establish a national registry for Muslims. The idea was raised by a Trump surrogate this week, gaining widespread coverage and a quick denial from the Trump camp.
“President-elect Trump has never advocated for any registry or system that tracks individuals based on their religion, and to imply otherwise is completely false,” communication director Jason Miller said in a statement.
But the Independent noted that Trump has already discussed plans for putting together the Muslim registry.
“In 2015 Mr Trump said he said he would bring in ‘a lot of systems’ that could track Muslims, after signing them up in various places across the country.
“When asked by NBC whether Muslims would be legally obliged to register on the database, Mr Trump replied: ‘They have to be, they have to be.’ ”
The idea of a Muslim registry has been largely unpopular and led to a major backlash against Trump in the week since his election victory. It could also be issue that leads to his impeachment. In a story imagining a Trump impeachment in 2017, Politico noted that a violation of civil liberties for America’s Muslims could a likely cause for hearings.
Now, the professor who correctly forecast that Trump would win the presidency is also predicting that he will be impeached. Allan Lichtman, an American University professor who created a model for predicting presidential races based on national and economic conditions, said he believes that Donald Trump may not last very long in the White House.
Citing the allegations that Trump used his foundation as a way to settle business debts and possible violation of U.S. embargoes in his businesses, Lichtman said he believes that Trump will stumble into trouble as president.
“No. 1, Trump has played fast and loose with the law all of his life,” Lichtman said (via the Miami Herald). “Secondly, Trump is a loose cannon. He’s unpredictable. He’s uncontrollable. And Republicans love control. They are worried about Donald Trump, but they love [Vice President-elect] Mike Pence, because he is a down-the-line, predictable, straight-forward Christian conservative Republican.”
While Donald Trump does not face any criminal charges at the moment, Lichtman hinted that the civil case involving Trump University could also open the door to impeachment. The American University professor noted that it was a civil lawsuit filed by Paula Jones that led to bill Clinton’s impeachment.
“So while an impeachment is difficult, it’s certainly a possibility under president Trump,” Lichtman said. “Let’s not forget that it was a civil lawsuit by Paula Jones alleging sexual harassment that opened the door to the impeachment of Bill Clinton.”
Aside from legal experts speculating about a possible impeachment, there are more concrete calls from critics that Donald Trump be impeached. These could grow louder as Trump is inaugurated in January.
Many political experts note that the impeachment scenario remains only a remote possibility. To be impeached, Donald Trump would need to face votes from both the House and Senate, which many said seems unlikely given that both are under Republican control.
And a Senate vote to impeach Donald Trump would require a two-thirds vote, something that has never happened before. While Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were both impeached by the House, both were acquitted in a Senate vote. Richard Nixon faced impeachment, but resigned during the process.
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