Last February, I wrote an article stating that Trump would be impeached before the end of 2017. In retrospect, it seems I was more hopeful than realistic.
An article of impeachment has to be raised by the House of Representatives and then there is a trial before the Senate, which acts, in effect, as the jury.
One reason impeachment did not occur in 2017 and may not occur in 2018 is that the Republicans have control over the House, and the Republicans will not support impeachment no matter what the facts may be. But don’t panic, unless there is a dramatic shift in the polls and in Mr. Trump’s behavior, the Democrats should take control of the House in November. There also is a reasonable possibility of taking the Senate, as well. The shift of just two seats in the Senate will transfer control from the Republicans to the Democrats.
Why will Trump inevitably be impeached? Unless he resigns, it will happen. Here’s why.
- Evidence will prove that Trump and his family did collude with the Russians to affect the results of the 2016 election.
- There is a substantial probability that Trump and his family are heavily in debt to Russian controlled banks, which has not been properly disclosed. Failure to make such disclosure can be construed as a felony and might even fit into the category of “Trading and dealing with the enemy.”
- Failure to disclose his income tax returns may not be a crime as such, but if that failure is used as a way of hiding agreements with agents of a foreign power, in the hands of an intelligent prosecutor it can certainly reach the level of a felony. Note that every modern day President has released his returns as a matter of course.
- Trump is unable to do the job that he was elected to. He is, despite his Wharton degree, uneducated, appears to know nothing about American history or the history of the world and is utterly incoherent. One has to wonder about his cognitive abilities. One fact is clear — he has unique expertise in not telling the truth. The 25th Amendment was created for the purpose of removing a President who is non-functioning, which is factually the situation that Trump finds himself in. However, to rely on the 25th Amendment would require a vote of the Trump cabinet, which, at the moment, is unlikely.
- Obstruction of Justice could be another reason for impeachment. General Mike Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI and has promised to cooperate with the ongoing investigation. I believe Flynn will say and do whatever it takes to try to avoid jail and to save his son from being indicted.
Firing James Comey, the former FBI director who would not pledge allegiance to Trump and refused to commit to Trump’s request to take it easy on Flynn, is in itself an act of obstruction of justice.
We need to understand that obstruction of justice is like a conspiracy charge, a catchall and relatively easy to prove. In Trump’s case there are numerous examples of obstruction of justice, in addition to what was just mentioned.
The year 2018 will see Trump trying to handle the worsening crisis in North Korea, there will be blowback from the so- called “Tax Reform Act,” the economic malaise will continue for his base, and we can expect more faux pas whether in speeches or on Twitter.
So, if I am right about the change in control of at least the House after the 2018 November elections, Trump will have to deal with a Bill of Impeachment when Congress convenes in 2019. It seems to me to be almost a sure thing.
My guess is that our entire Connecticut congressional delegation will loudly support impeachment.
Edward Marcus is former chairman of the Democrat State Central Committee in Connecticut, former state Senate majority leader, and principal of Branford-based Marcus Law Firm.