Like a chapter from the Nixonian playbook, Donald Trump’s fate could play out in a similar fashion: a move in the Senate to impeach, convict, or force the resignation of the 45th President of the United States only requires “six more” votes. According to a new survey published in Newsweek, a majority of Americans believe impeachment and removal are the “most popular” solutions to address Trump’s growing crisis and management style.
As calls for Donald Trump’s impeachment grow, many entities weigh in on the odds that the New York billionaire will lose his power in the Oval Office through an ouster by his Republican colleagues. One such entity thinks the chances for a Trump impeachment is not “if,” but “when,” given the current political climate.
Researchers with Harvard University’s Center for American Political Studies and the research marketing firm Harris Insights and Analytics published the results of a recent poll. Given the nature of Trump’s “rough” start in Washington, participants were asked to choose a viable solution to address his string of controversial decisions.
The results were mixed, but slightly in favor of a tiny majority. Forty-three percent favored Donald Trump’s impeachment proceedings and subsequent removal from office. Forty-two percent indicated no action, while 12 percent supported Congress censuring Trump.
The results of the poll come on the heels of Trump’s “many sides” response in the wake of death and violence sparked by the clash between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, last week. Trump later clarified his remarks in what many believe was a scripted response based on the growing backlash from critics and Republican members of Congress.
Democratic Senator Steve Cohen decried Trump’s defense of participants at the white nationalist rally, saying Trump lacks “moral leadership.”
“Instead of unequivocally condemning hateful actions by neo-Nazis, white nationalists and Klansmen following a national tragedy, the President said ‘there were very fine people on both sides,'” the Tennessee lawmaker said in a statement. “There are no good Nazis. There are no good Klansmen.”
According to a new report by Yahoo News, the Brookings Institution compared Trump’s probable fate to President Richard Nixon’s ill-fated days during the Watergate scandal.
“At some point in 2019 (if not sooner) a Republican Senator may walk into the Oval Office and say to President Trump: ‘Mr. President, we don’t have the votes,’ at which point the Trump presidency will end in a resignation or a conviction in the Senate.”
Apparently, this very scene played out over four decades ago. Then, GOP Senator Barry Goldwater entered Nixon’s Oval Office and told the embattled president that he lacked the votes required to ward off impeachment and subsequent removal.
Based on the United States Constitution, an impeachment hearing — loosely similar to a jury trial — is held in the Senate. A two-thirds majority convicts the president. Reportedly, a dozen senators “have shown a willingness” to challenge Trump when he’s “in the wrong.”
Furthermore, there are approximately 48 Democratic senators who have demonstrated “no inclination” to support Trump’s agenda. That means the president is six votes shy of being removed from power, according to pundits. Sources contend that Trump’s handling of the clashes in Virginia that left Heather Heyer dead — in addition to two police officers who died when their chopper crashed — made matters worse.
“The president needs to start making friends in the United States Senate,” the report warned about Trump’s impeachment and conviction odds. Moreover, Democrats said Trump’s presidential pardon of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio made them “sick to the stomach,” as Fox News reports. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is among several GOP leaders who broke with Trump over his decision.
Political pundits are mixed about the prospects of removing Donald Trump from office using the impeachment process. Two experts suggest that any attempt to oust the embattled Republican “outsider” would set a dangerous precedent in the current political climate.
Roger Stone, a longtime Trump ally and veteran political strategist, used harsh language in expressing his views about the likelihood of a Trump impeachment.
“Try to impeach him. Just try it. You will have a spasm of violence in this country, an insurrection like you’ve never seen,” warned the former Nixon administration member. Stone pointed to the “proliferation” of guns and rising violence to illustrate his point.
“Both sides are heavily armed, my friend,” he said. “This is not 1974. People will not stand for impeachment.”
To some on social media, Stone’s tone and tenor came across as inciting violence. However, he was quick to clarify his comments, saying he was “not advocating violence.” Rather, he was merely “predicting it.”
David Axelrod, a CNN contributor and ex-Obama adviser, chimed in on the ongoing debate around a Trump impeachment scenario.
“I think we have to be very, very careful when we have these discussions because we have a system, a constitutional system, and if people get a sense that there is some extraordinary measure that’s going to be taken to effect what they would view as a bloodless coup.”
Although some believe attempts to remove or impeach Trump is nil or symbolic — due to a Republican-controlled government — a statistically significant trend occurred recently, which gives hope to proponents wishing for a Trump impeachment. According to the Public Religion Research Institute, odds to impeach Donald Trump swelled to 40 percent in August alone.
Do you think President Donald Trump’s impeachment is close? What are Trump’s chances of being impeached or removed from office before his second term?
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