Impeachment will hurt Trump, but topple him? Think again
The political ramifications are enormous, but even so, he is hoping the drama will rally his base
The impeachment hearings are incredible political theatre and will probably expose serious flaws in the Trump administration. But this does not necessarily mean they will remove Trump from office – or even cost him the 2020 election.
Impeachment proceedings have begun in the House, where the Democrats have a majority. It was never the intention of speaker Nancy Pelosi to try to expel Trump from office this way – her hand was forced by pressure from liberal congressmen and the allegation that the president tried to extort a foreign power (Ukraine) to intervene in a US election.
At this stage, the Democrats are in the driving seat and given that the standard for impeachment is so vague – “high crimes and misdemeanours” – it’s within their gift to decide whether Trump has met it. The problem is that even if the House is satisfied that the president should be removed, it’s the Senate that then holds a trial, and it will require the votes of two-thirds of all senators to end the Trump presidency...