Depending on where you stand on the political spectrum, the prospect of Donald Trump’s impeachment at the hands of Congress may seem either totally imminent or utterly impossible.
While Trump’s opponents in the Democratic Party view recent revelations about the administration’s pressure tactics with regard to Ukraine and other foreign governments as a call to arms, Trump’s ardent supporters claim that the current impeachment frenzy is merely a rehash of the recently-completed Mueller investigation. Only time will tell which camp is correct in its assertions, but it is clear that the subject of impeachment will not go away anytime soon.
For the most part, the case for impeachment will likely rest on the legal definition of seeking foreign assistance during an election. According to President Trump, soliciting information about potential 2020 rivals like Joe Biden was legal because such information was sought in order to root out corruption in the US political process.
If such information were deemed to legally be “of value,” however, Trump could find himself on the wrong end of constitutional law: Under the Constitution, for example, officeholders like Trump are prohibited from accepting items of value from foreign governments.
To Trump’s fiercest critics, the President’s dealings with foreign governments will undoubtedly be portrayed as both crimes and impeachable offenses. If Trump dangled the prospect of foreign aid sanctions or lucrative trade deals to other countries in order to secure information about opponents like Joe Biden, this could also constitute the kind of scenario that Trump and his supporters have done much to distance themselves from in recent days.
Even if it is shown by Democrats that Donald Trump committed a crime, however, the legal case for impeachment will still require extensive bipartisan agreement to reach a resolution. Indeed, if Trump were to be impeached by the House of Representatives, there would still need to be 60 votes in the Senate to convict and remove Trump from office. With the Republican Party currently gathering its wagons to protect Trump, removing Trump from office increasingly unlikely. The alternative is to vote him out of office in 2020.
Whatever the results from these inquiries will be, it is clear that Donald Trump will continue to be an extremely divisive figure in the world of politics.