The country is on the way to impeachment. As I wrote earlier, (link) the Democrats have painted themselves into a corner making Articles of Impeachment a requirement to make sure they retain their seats in 2020. That was then. Now Donald Trump has written Article I of his Articles of Impeachment.
What some U.S. voters still do not understand is that impeachment is a two-step process. First, the House must file and pass Articles of Impeachment. All that means is that the Senate must do something with those articles. In other words, Articles of Impeachment do not ensure that Donald Trump will be removed from office. Far from it.
Even if the Articles are filed and voted on by the Senate, there are still several possible outcomes that range from nothing to censure to possibly removal from office.
As we’ve discussed, the Democrats must adopt Articles of Impeachment. And one of the articles is “obstruction”. Whether you believe that Donald Trump is obstructing the investigation into his activities by refusing to cooperate with the Democrats in the House does not matter, because one of the articles is now “obstruction”. It may even be the only article in the Articles of Impeachment.
But the Senate remains the conundrum in this latest Trump debacle.
Before the Syria fiasco, the Republicans were firmly looking to protect Donald Trump from impeachment.
The Senate was expected to block the Articles of Impeachment from reaching the floor. They still may. But Syria has shown that the Republicans are not firmly behind Donald Trump. For the Republicans it was always about stacking the Supreme Court with conservatives and lowering taxes and ending regulatory impediments to commerce. In other words, they tolerated Donald Trump and still might.
But the Syria issue is proving that there are limits to what the Republicans will tolerate from Donald Trump.
This opens various other avenues for the Articles of Impeachment that will come out of the House.
One, stay the course and stop the Articles from reaching the floor of the Senate.
Two, allow a vote on the Senate floor and either repudiate the Articles, unlikely, or censure Donald Trump for one or more of the formal articles proffered. But he stays in office.
Three, and what I believe is the most likely scenario now is that the Republicans and Donald Trump reach an agreement whereby Donald Trump relinquishes the presidency for health reasons, for the good of the country, his family or both, or just because Donald Trump wants to return to making more money.
Obviously, Donald Trump and his family are pardoned for all crimes in return for his resignation. Much of what happened the last time the country faced an impeachment of this seriousness – Richard Nixon.
In this scenario the Republicans are guaranteed a face-saving measure that will allow them a credible run in the 2020 elections, and they get to keep a Republican as president – Mike Pence.
Why is this the likely outcome?
The Articles of Impeachment are coming, that is guaranteed. Donald Trump keeps getting himself into trouble. The Republicans, like all tribal groups, will circle the wagons. And the Democrats will stop at nothing to ensure both Trump and Pence are thrown out of office to make Nancy Pelosi the first female president of the United States.