Allan Lichtman, the American University professor and political historian who successfully predicted Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election well in advance, has also been known for his past forecasts hinting at the president’s imminent impeachment. While this has yet to take place, Lichtman spoke to two publications earlier in the week and offered his latest thoughts on the matter, this time hinting that the findings from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation could lead to Trump’s impeachment at some point next year.
In his interview with Deutsche Welle, Lichtman did not provide any specifics on when in 2019 he expects Trump to be impeached but nonetheless stressed that it could “more likely than not” take place next year, as the president prepares to deal with a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives starting next week. While leading Democrat lawmakers have mostly avoided talk of impeachment, Lichtman opined that they might face pressure from Trump’s detractors and be forced to pursue the process if the special counsel probe “comes up with some devastating findings.”
“I think [Trump] is in grave peril from the Mueller probe,” he emphasized.
Going forward, Lichtman said he expects Mueller to uncover some “very serious” information that could associate Trump and his campaign team with Russian officials and ultimately prove that there was collusion between both parties to influence the results of the 2016 election. He added, however, that he finds it unusual that Mueller’s investigation is now on its 19th month, but has yet to reveal such potentially incriminating findings.
Lichtman made similar observations and predictions in a separate interview with U.K. tabloid Daily Star Online, telling the publication that he had expected Mueller to come up with something substantial sooner, but forecasting that his probe could lead to Trump’s impeachment in early 2019.
“If the special counsel’s findings are shocking enough the Democratic base will demand an impeachment investigation,” Lichtman told Daily Star Online.
“The Democrats shouldn’t shy away from that. It is their constitutional duty, [and] that is why the founders put it in the constitution so we can have a legal, orderly, and peaceful means to deal with a rogue president.”
In addition, Lichtman also posited that unlike his predecessors, Donald Trump hasn’t “grown” into his role as U.S. president as he nears his second year in office. He believes that Trump has taken the opposite path by being more “outlandish” with his statements and focusing mainly on the continued “adulation” he gets from his supporters.
Keeping in mind that impeachment does not automatically lead to a president getting ousted, Lichtman said in his interview with Deutsche Welle that there is an “increasing likelihood” that Trump will also be removed from office. Although the Republican Party still controls the Senate by a 51-49 majority, Lichtman said he believes that it might not be too unrealistic to expect a two-thirds majority vote from the Senate in order to oust Trump as president, assuming the House votes for his impeachment first.
“[Republican lawmakers] don’t have any personal loyalty to Trump. They are worried about antagonizing his base and losing Republican primaries. But if they think he is going to be a political liability, they may be willing to abandon him.”
Although Lichtman concluded his Deutsche Welle interview by again stressing that it’s “unlikely” Trump will remain in office as president until the end of his term, he clarified that Vice President Mike Pence is still the most likely person to take over the presidency if Trump gets ousted, given how most House Republicans seem to favor him over Trump.