Majority in poll want Trump impeached or censured (The Hill link): Nearly 60 percent of U.S. voters surveyed say President Trump should be either impeached and removed from office or formally censured, according to a new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill. The poll shows that a majority of voters polled think some kind of action should be taken against Trump, though they are divided on how far lawmakers should go as Democrats prepare to take over the House majority.
Impeachment would require a majority vote by the House — a possibility with a Democratic majority, though leadership in the party have been cautious on the topic. Conviction in the Senate would require a two-thirds vote, something unlikely in a body that will have 53 Republicans.
Twenty percent of poll respondents said lawmakers should vote to formally censure the president.
The poll results come as Trump faces criminal investigations in both Washington, D.C., and New York related to whether his campaign coordinated with Russian officials and actors to help sway the 2016 presidential election.
At the same time, federal prosecutors implicated Trump earlier this month in a separate case related to payments made to two women to keep them quiet about affairs they say they had with him. In a memo recommending a prison sentence for Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, federal prosecutors said Trump directed the payments to the two women to ward off a potential sex scandal as he sought the White House in 2016. Those payments, prosecutors argue, amounted to illegal contributions to the real estate mogul’s campaign.
Donald Trump will be impeached in 2019, says 'prediction professor' (DW.com link): The US president's basic conduct and politics are unlikely to change in 2019, but the new Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, coupled with the Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, will lead to the impeachment of Donald Trump, predicts Allan Lichtman. "I think it's more likely than not he will get impeached," the American University professor told DW. After previously predicting 30 years of presidential elections correctly, Lichtman became a media phenomenon when he — against mainstream wisdom — predicted early on that Trump would win in 2016. Now Lichtman is convinced that as of 2019, and for the remainder of his term, Trump will be engaged in a fight to remain in office — a fight he well may lose.
That's because until now, Trump could rely on a Republican-controlled Congress to shield him from impeachment or removal from office proceedings — essentially a political trial process — which can be triggered by a single majority vote in the House of Representatives. That process has long been a hot topic among the president's opponents in the Democratic Party and, in the wake of the midterm elections that flipped the House, Democrats will hold a solid a majority in 2019.
As soon as the new Democratic-run House convenes on January 3 next year, impeaching Trump moves from theory to reality. And while top Democrats have so far routinely downplayed calls for impeachment by the so-called anti-Trump resistance movement and by lawmakers demanding a more aggressive stance against the president, the pressure to act could force the party's leaders to pursue it. "If Mueller comes up with some devastating findings, the Democratic base will demand impeachment," said Lichtman. "I think [Trump] is in grave peril from the Mueller probe."