Everyone involved knows indictments are inevitable, if not imminent, in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is planning to indict and prosecute Trump’s underlings in order to pressure them into flipping on Trump. It’s been far less clear how the scandal will play out in parallel on the political side once the prosecutorial side reaches the indictment stage. But now one House insider has provided what may be a big piece to the puzzle.
Political insider Scott Dworkin is the co-founder of the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, and he’s also periodically a guest commentator on MSNBC. This morning he revealed that a senior staff member for a Republican Congressman told him, “We’re bracing for an indictment, when first one hits we will impeach.” (link). With the current dysfunction in the GOP, it’s not a given that they’d all be on the same page with this. But it does offer a glimpse into how the GOP could try to preemptively oust Donald Trump ahead of the midterms, in the hope of avoiding getting wiped out themselves.
If Trump’s own Republican Party begins impeachment hearings against him, it would leave him without any remaining meaningful support in the federal government. It would also send a signal to average Republicans among the American public that it’s time to give up on Trump, which would send his approval rating hurtling even lower than it is now. The ongoing impeachment hearings and his collapsing support could leave him in a position where he’d have little choice but to resign.
The Republican Party would then try to quickly regroup behind President Mike Pence heading into the midterms, under the premise that they “fixed” the problem in their own house by ousting Donald Trump. But the Democrats would still be in a strong position to win a majority in the House and Senate. If Robert Mueller then unearths proof of Pence’s complicity in the Trump-Russia scandal or coverup, the Democrats could move forward with Pence impeachment hearings after the midterms.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report