It seems that every day we are getting new bits of info regarding what the Robert Mueller investigation involving President Trump’s ties with Russia during the 2016 election will find. With Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen being sentenced to three years in federal prison, and Michael Flynn’s sentencing coming Tuesday, the outlook for potential criminal findings are not looking good for the current president.
With Democrats gaining control of the House of Representatives, and the Republicans slim majority on the Senate (51 to 49), if the Mueller investigation does find wrongdoing on Trump’s part, the potential for a move for impeachment are not completely unreasonable. The Constitution states that the House holds the impeachment trial, with the Senate acting as the jury. In order to convict the president of a crime, the Senate must rule a two-thirds majority. If all members voted along party lines, the president would be able to remain in office.
Currently, President Trump is being investigated for his involvement in paying aides to work with or cover up ties with foreign governments, such as Russia, through a slew of possibilities ranging from business connections to potentially working to rig the presidential election in 2016. With a wide variety of concerns for wrongdoings at stake, many find it hard to imagine that the investigation will shed light on something. The question at stake is whether or not the information that does come up will be enough for the Democrats to have reason to impeach.
While many Democratic voters seem to be eager to impeach the sitting president, likely next Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, seemed to dodge an affirmative answer when asked by the PBS NewsHour whether the new caucus would make a move on the issue, saying they will wait to see what the investigation holds.
The question at hand is less about whether the House will move on impeachment, if the Mueller gives them a reason to, and more about whether the Senate can get a two-thirds majority to convict, meaning some Republican Senators would need to cross party lines and vote “yes”.
But would it be a smart move for Democrats to impeach? In such a divisive environment, a plan to impeach a president whose approval ratings have been hanging around the 40% mark, but has a base who rally behind him in swarms, could backfire for them come 2020. Acting on removing the president could turn out large crowds of Republicans in the next election, regardless of if he is removed from office or not.
(image from ABC News)
On the flip side, it could be a huge win. If the Democrats are successful in removing Trump or forcing him to resign, they will likely face Vice President Mike Pence as their 2020 opponent, a politician with very little publicity or attention associated with his name (an unknown until Trump made him his VP).
Regardless of what happens, the American people are anxiously awaiting the findings of an investigation that seems to be wrapping up quickly.