Why Trump Won’t be Impeached 

Photo by Gage Skidmore. https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/

In the entire history of the US, no chief executive has ever been removed from office by impeachment. Even though Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached, neither was convicted nor lost his job because of it. Impeachment is a rigid process defined by the Constitution, as anyone old enough to remember the late-90s can recall. First, the House must draw up and approve articles of impeachment, describing the specific offenses with which the president is being charged, then must refer the matter to the Senate who will try the case with the Chief Justice presiding. When both Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached, they were Democrats, facing a hostile Republican Congress (Johnson was originally a Southern Democrat, chosen by Lincoln to balance the ticket). Trump is a Republican president facing a fairly sympathetic Republican Congress.

In the first place, the House will be reluctant to draw up articles of impeachment. Democrats don’t have enough power to do it on their own, there is little, if any, bipartisan cooperation in Congress anymore, and Republicans are reluctant to anger their far-right base, and many may have suspicious ties they don’t want exposed. Worse, impeachment wouldn’t solve the problem of Trump, who loves the spotlight and always portrays himself as the victim. A globally-televised trial before the Senate would be just the platform he would relish. If Congress tries and fails to remove him from office, he’ll only become more powerful, having vanquished an important check to his authority.

The current GOP-led Congress does not have the courage to take action against Trump. The reactionary forces of their own party, who are the very people who idolize the president, will keep them in check. Even if they draft articles of impeachment, there is no precedent to guide Congress in how to go about removing him, even if Trump is convicted. On top of that, a trial before the Senate would give Trump the worldwide audience he craves to be able to portray himself as the victim of a political witch hunt, which he would no doubt expand upon via Twitter.

The only option Congress has is to force him to resign. They may not be able to attack the public Trump, but they can go after the private Trump. If they can cut off his avenues for profiting from high office, they decrease his incentive to remain president. To get him to leave, they’ll have to hit him where it hurts. Cancel all government business with his enterprises, threaten to expose his dealings with foreign entities — in other words, sever the ties he’s been unwilling to sever on his own. They will need to bring the full force of the United States to bear against him, by attacking the source of income he’s generating while in office, and make it clear that Trump’s private business is no longer an avenue to the president for foreign leaders, or big donors. Now that there’s a special prosecutor to investigate his ties to foreign powers, Congress needs to scrutinize the avenues via which his company does business outside the US, freeze his assets, and enforce regulations which would prevent him from covertly controlling his company through his children. The question is, does Congress have the stomach for it?

2 thoughts on “Why Trump Won’t be Impeached 

  1. While I find your argument strong, I will still hope and dream for the end of Trump’s reign, The optimist in me will hope, while the pessimist in me will cry.

    1. I’m not saying he won’t be forced out, but he’ll probably quit, hoping to salvage what he can of his business and fortune. If the situation drags on too long, he could risk losing everything and he cares about that more than the country.

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