Although there is no indication that President Trump will face impeachment proceedings in the near future, the possibility has evidently become serious enough that White House lawyers have begun taking steps to defend the President against any such proceedings.
CNN’s @evanperez reports White House lawyers have begun researching impeachment process & collecting info on how such proceedings might work
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) May 19, 2017
For impeachment proceedings against the President to work, there would need to be some kind of massive Republican upheaval against the President, and there’s no indication that such is on the horizon – at least not the immediate horizon. Trump still enjoys the support of Republican leadership.
Still, there has been a lot of clamoring from various members of Congress for Trump to be impeached. These calls intensified following President Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey, which is easily perceptible as an obstruction of justice. Comey was leading an investigation into the Trump team’s ties to Russia when he was fired, and although the White House initially tried to make it seem as though Comey’s firing didn’t have anything to do with Russia, it did. Trump himself revealed as much in an interview with NBC.
The obstruction of justice inherent in Comey’s firing has been taken by many to be an impeachable offense, although technically, what is and what isn’t an impeachable offense isn’t set in stone. Still, most would acknowledge that an obstruction of justice is, indeed, grave.
Still, for Trump to actually, successfully, be removed from office would require two-thirds of the Senate to support that proposition. Presently, with 52 out of the 100 Senate members Republicans, there’s just little to no way that such a two thirds threshold could be reached.
Still, there at least two ways that Trump could end up facing impeachment.
The first way is perhaps the most straightforward, in that if the party balance in Congress shifts, pro-impeachment Representatives and Senators could suddenly find themselves in the majority come 2018.
There is a second way in which Trump could find himself facing impeachment; namely, if some newly incriminating piece of evidence comes out in regards to the scandal around his and his team’s connections to Russia. For instance, was Michael Flynn operating at the direct orders of the President when he arranged for a secret back channel of communication with Russia?
With the recent appointment of a special prosecutor to take over leadership of the Russia scandal, the possibility that such newly incriminating evidence will emerge soon is great. CNN reports that the preparation to face impeachment proceedings on the part of White House lawyers comes in the midst of an effort to beef up the president’s legal protections against the ever-growing Russia scandal.
These efforts have included admonitions to the President for him to bulk up his personal legal defense team.
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