The topic of impeachment for President Donald Trump flared again this week as the president was told “the countdown to impeachment has already started,” according to The Independent.
Trump himself seemed to show a lack of concern for the impeachment proceedings. On Thursday, he publicly stated his impeachment would adversely affect the U.S. economy and expressed his doubts that he would actually be impeached.
Many others, however, are taking the proceedings very seriously. On Tuesday, a firestorm of news unraveled when it was announced President Donald Trump’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, was convicted of fraud. Later, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen told a federal court he paid “hush money” to two women who had allegedly conducted affairs with Trump. Cohen clarified further that this was done at the behest of the president, and therefore violated campaign finance laws, explains The Atlantic.
Adam Serwer of The Atlantic writes that Trump would be best served from a Republican victory in the midterms. Maintaining control of Congress in conjunction with the executive branch would cement his control of the narrative and quell “any push toward impeachment, no matter how substantial the evidence of legal wrongdoing,” he wrote on Thursday. “It could empower him to narrow or shut down the investigations, knowing that a Republican Congress would not stand in the way.”
However, there is likely to be more and more news surrounding a potential impeachment process in months to come. If future weeks are anything like this last one, coverage of impeachment will be on the minds of Republicans and Democrats alike. Polls are already showing an increased interest in the upcoming midterms.
Midterm elections are always a reflection of the sitting president, but 2018 is a landmark year. The election of President Trump was largely seen as a backlash against the liberal progressiveness of the Obama years. It seems, however, that the backlash against Trump is surpassing any seen during the Obama administration.
According to Vox, Trump is the target of “historic voter backlash” for the 2018 midterms. According to the Pew Research Center, voter turnout is likely to trend upwards for the midterms, especially for Democrats.
“According to Pew, 61 percent of Democratic voters said their vote would be a vote against Trump. That is notably higher than the percentage of Republican voters who said their vote was a vote against Obama in 2010 (54 percent) and 2014 (51 percent) when the GOP made major gains in Congress, retaking the House and then the Senate,” summarizes Vox.
While Democratic Party officials are largely remaining silent about the recent impeachment news — likely trying not to ignite the Trump base — Trump’s allies are widely discussing the news publicly. The Independent speculates this is an attempt to convince Republican voters to turn out in November.
Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor hired by Trump for his legal team, warned of a revolt if the president was impeached. “You could only impeach [Trump] for political reasons and the American people would revolt against that,” said Guiliani as quoted by The Independent. Steve Bannon, former chief strategist for President Trump, called for a “referendum” on impeachment talk, urging Trump supporters to “get with the programme”.