Q&A – Would Impeachment Benefit President Trump?

Today’s entry - What are your thoughts about this line of thinking? 

By: Hyram F.Suddfluffel, Ph.D., (Political Science)

1. The House can pass articles of impeachment over the objections of the Republicans and refer to the Senate for trial.

2. The Senate will conduct a trial. There will be a vote, and the Republicans will vote unanimously, along with a small number of Democrats, to not convict the President. Legally, it will all be over at that point.

3. During the trial, and this is what no one is thinking about right now, the President's attorneys will have the right to subpoena and question ANYONE THEY WANT! That is different than the special counsel investigation, which was very one-sided. So, during the impeachment trial, we will be hearing testimony from James Comey, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr, Glenn Simpson, Donna Brazille, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, Christopher Steele, Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, James Clapper, and a whole host of other participants. So, let's move on to impeachment.

Bottom Line: With the public hearings underway today, there’s wide-ranging thought about what will happen and what the implications would be. Implementing the 180-degree theory, is this depiction of what would happen should President Trump be impeached. It’s in line with the mindset that impeachment would be of benefit to President Trump, which using history as a guide, may well be the case. 

On the first, notion. Yes, Democrats hold a 37-seat advantage over Republicans in the House, although they can only lose 16 or potentially 17 based on the independent vote. Only if all Republicans voted against impeachment. Something that shouldn’t be taken for granted, is that Democrats flipped 41 House seats in 2018. Democrats would need, at least, more than half of those freshman to vote to impeach for it to clear the House if Republicans were united against it. This isn’t a given. Be mindful that these freshman seats were held by Republicans in 2016 with President Trump at the top of the ticket. With Trump’s name on the 2020 ballot next year, an impeachment vote against Trump has the potential to be a path of least resistance to Republicans regaining control of the House. Nancy Pelosi is no fool. If she doesn’t have the votes or if she thinks that will be the outcome, this will never come to an impeachment vote in the House. I think it’s no more than a 50-50 proposition that the President is impeached. 

If impeached in the House, which I think is at least as unlikely to occur as it is likely to pass, we would have a Senate trial. As for the outcome of the Senate vote, something along the lines over what was suggested, a unanimous vote against by Republicans joined by a few Democrats, is likely to be close to what the reality would be. You have two Democrats, Doug Jones in Alabama and Gary Peters in Michigan, who are up for re-election next year in states Donald Trump won in 2016. Incidentally, their approval ratings are already among the two lowest in the Senate according to Morning Consult’s monthly average. They’re both potentially Democrats who’d be unlikely to vote to convict and remove President Trump. 

Republicans have a 53 to 47 advantage in the Senate. 67 votes are needed to convict and remove the President. If all Democrats and Independents were to vote to convict, which as, just mentioned isn’t a given, they’d still need 20 Republicans to vote to convict and remove. So, yes, there would have to be so much more to this impeachment story than has even been imagined. With all of that as the backdrop, it pulls in the third and potentially most instructive point of all. Unlike the House impeachment process, which is completely controlled and orchestrated by Democrats, meaning that we’ll only hear from witnesses Democrats want us to hear from, the Senate trial would be orchestrated by majority leader Mitch McConnell with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts presiding. In that setting, all of the deep-state actors responsible for the Steele Dosier, FISA abuse and general Trump-Russia collusion hoax would be able to be called or held in contempt. 

I get the logic behind the thought that impeachment would benefit President Trump, but I remain skeptical of it occurring and I don’t think it’s necessary to achieve the desired result.

Submit your questions by using one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

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Photo by: Getty Images

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