Support for a Donald Trump impeachment has now surpassed the embattled president’s approval rating.
As of Thursday, June 1, Trump’s approval rating was 40 percent. That’s three points lower than the Politico poll released Wednesday showing that 43 percent of voters support impeaching the president.
Experts say the uptick in impeachment support is directly linked to developments related to the James Comey situation and whether Trump’s campaign, including his own son-in-law, had ties to the Russian government.
Insiders continue to wager that the number of people in favor of a Trump impeachment will only increase as the Russian investigation continues. So far, they’ve been correct. Last week, the Economist Intelligence Unit upgraded chances of Trump’s ouster to “moderate.”
“We note that the president’s impulsive character and disregard for protocol means that even the unlikely is possible,” an Economist Intelligence Unit statement said in a May 26 Newsweek report. “But it would take a significant shift in mood, even allowing for his existing transgressions, to shift Republican loyalty away from Trump.”
This week, reports of a growing support for impeachment among lawmakers in both chambers of Congress was obvious as sources said Wednesday there is now buzz in the Senate about it only being a matter of time before the president is brought to its floor to stand trial.
There have also been talks of a Donald Trump resignation or his removal via the 25th Amendment, which could be used by his cabinet and vice president if they decide to find him unfit to continue running the country.
In California, Trump’s approval rating fell to 27 percent, according to a poll released by the Public Policy Institute of California Wednesday. His rating had only been 31 percent in a March poll, and 30 percent in January. Most detractors said they felt Trump is unqualified to be president.
Trump’s alleged ties to Russia weighed heavily on the California numbers. Nationwide, 58 percent of respondents said they believed Russia influenced the 2016 election that put Trump in office. Forty-seven percent said Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia in the process. In California, 70 percent of respondents said Trump was directly involved with the Russian plan. Only 12 percent of California Republicans support Trump, the poll showed.
There have been two American presidents who’ve been impeached, yet neither was removed from office. The impeachment of President Andrew Johnson occurred in 1868, when the House of Representatives voted for his removal. The House accused Johnson of violating the Tenure of Office Act by ousting Secretary of War Edwin McMasters Standon. The House ruling was forwarded to the United States Senate on March 2, 1868. There, a 35-19 vote, just one shy of the needed two-thirds for impeachment, saved Johnson, who went on to serve the remainder of Abraham Lincoln’s term.
A Democrat who ran with Lincoln on the National Union (Republican) ticket in 1864, Johnson failed to receive the Democratic nomination in 1868, and the party chose Horatio Seymour, who was defeated for the presidency by Ulysses S. Grant by 300,000 votes.
Articles of impeachment of President Bill Clinton (D) were filed by the House in 1998 on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, stemming from allegations that he lied under oath about his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton’s trial in the United States Senate concluded with a 55-45 vote against impeachment. No Senate Democrats voted for impeachment on either charge.
Although Clinton was the second president to be impeached, political experts say that distinction would have certainly gone to Richard Nixon, who resigned on Aug. 8, 1974, amid support among Democrats and Republicans for his removal.
Trump could resign, too, according to reports, and forego being impeached. A month after his resignation, Nixon received a full pardon from President Gerald Ford.
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