Donald Trump and the Politics of Impeachment

Source: The New Internationalist

We should not underestimate the US president’s talent for undermining his own job security.

It took only a few months.

Donald Trump scarcely made it past his first 100 days as President of the United States before the prospect of impeachment went from fringe fantasy to plausible possibility.

Trump apparently hoped that he could make a brewing scandal disappear with his abrupt firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey – the official responsible for investigating his campaign’s possible collusion with Russian interference in the US election. But the move only intensified scrutiny. It also raised the spectre of presidential obstruction of justice, itself an impeachable offence.

While the path to Trump’s removal from office by a Republican-controlled Congress still looks rocky, we should not underestimate the president’s talent for undermining his own job security.

Surprisingly, many US progressives are not particularly excited about the prospects for impeachment. Left-of-centre publications have run articles with titles like ‘The Liberal Case for Not Removing Trump’, warning against ‘the impeachment trap’.

Leftist sceptics make several arguments: they contend that the Russian scandal is unlikely to produce a ‘smoking gun’ that ties Trump to criminal acts, and that past presidents escaped far more serious imbroglios – such as Reagan’s Iran-Contra Affair.

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