After a years-long slow grind to try to oust Donald Trump from office for his crimes, it’s now finally coming together in almost startlingly swift fashion. Multiple House Republicans are voting to impeach him. Mitch McConnell just basically gave Senate Republicans the green light to remove him. So now what?
Anyone who thinks they can predict the precise sequence of events over the next eight days is being overconfident. But there is now a realistic possibility that Trump could indeed be convicted and removed before the end of his term. If seventeen Republican Senators vote to convict, or if enough Republican Senators skip the vote and allow for a lower threshold for a two-thirds majority, then Trump is gone. Yes, it could take another week to convict him, but he’d nonetheless be gone before the end of his term.
Rachel Maddow had an interesting take tonight when she said that Trump should be more worried about criminal liability and prison than about how he leaves office. She said that “If I were Trump, I’d resign tonight” and then try to get a pardon from Mike Pence. At this point it’s a realistic scenario. There are those who believe Trump will never resign “no matter what” – but this is beyond that now. Trump is now on a fairly clear path to prison, and he has to think in those terms.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report