Alex Castellanos, a veteran in the world of U.S. politics, knows his way around the corridors of the Republican Party establishment. Seven former GOP presidential candidates, including George W. Bush and Mitt Romney, have made decisions and taken actions according to advice from Mr. Castellanos.
While appearing on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, the expert political strategist claimed that Donald Trump is closer to being impeached that people might think.
Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign team and Russian officials is only one cog in the machine that could bring about the inexperienced president’s downfall, according to Castellanos.
What could prove to be a key motivation to impeach Trump would be a victory for Roy Moore who is currently a Senate candidate for Alabama. Moore was recently accused of sexually violating minors, a serious allegation that could hurt Republican politicians’ chances of success in the 2018 midterm elections.
Mr. Castellanos told George Stephanopoulos that “we’re closer to impeachment now than we think,” if Moore wins next week.
“Roy Moore [is] coming to the Senate possibly in a week. And he becomes the face of the Republican Party for the next year, when we’re already in danger of losing the House. It’s likely we’ll do that without him, lose the House. Trump gets impeached.”
Additionally, Castellanos cited the possibility that Trump acted to obstruct justice as another factor that will be considered by politicians as they prepare articles of impeachment, according to a report by the Independent.
Thus far, “all we have seen is charges of tax evasion and lying to the FBI,” Castellanos said. “You know, only in Washington is it an industry that people go to jail for covering up crimes they don’t commit as a standard procedure.”
Meanwhile, George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn, both former senior officials in the Trump campaign, have entered guilty pleas after being charged with lying to the FBI. Elsewhere, Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, has been charged with tax fraud and other financial crimes.
Flynn is also at the center of a possible scandal that could, if proven, implicate President Trump in an attempt to obstruct justice. Earlier this year, Trump fired Flynn, who had been serving as his national security adviser, after it was revealed that Flynn had misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his relationship with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak.
Following his dismissal from Trump’s administration, Flynn made a deal with Robert Mueller to plead guilty to a single felony count of deliberately making false statements to the FBI.
President Trump, however, seemed unfazed by recent developments as he told reporters that he was “very happy” about Mr. Flynn’s plea. Trump was quick to assert that Flynn’s willingness to cooperate with the Mueller investigation did not prove collusion.
On Twitter, Trump’s preferred platform to communicate to voters, the president defended his former national security adviser, writing, “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”
For an impeachment to succeed, a majority of representatives in the House, and a two-thirds majority of lawmakers in the Senate would have to vote in favor of the measure. If the Democrats want to regain their majorities on Capitol Hill, they would have to win 24 additional seats in the House and three more in the Senate.