I love to run scenarios and so I have sketched out a pretty surreal one in my head about what might happen should the worst occur and there is proof that Trump did, in fact, knowingly collude with the Russians to rig the 2016 election.
So, imagine its late 2018 and the Republicans have lost an enormous number of seats in both the House and Senate. Enough that it’s pretty obvious that Trump is going to be impeached, because, well, Trump will never resign. A few months exist between election day and when the new Congress is sworn in, so there is plenty of time for the Republicans to do all sorts of mischief.
I am think, specifically, of them impeaching Trump themselves so they will have the right to pick who will replace Mike Pence as Veep. Given how surreal they are in their partisanship, it doesn’t take too much to assume that if Trump’s approval ratings dip below, say, 20%, that they will suddenly find the backbone they have not had all this time.
It will help, of course, that they would, on a strategic level, get to pick Pence’s Veep. They might go to Trump and beg that he resign, but he doesn’t give a shit about the Republican Party and I just don’t see him doing it. His personality is such that he would have to actually be convicted by the Senate before he would leave office.
And that doesn’t even begin to address the idea that he might, well, pardon himself and everyone involved in an effort to save himself. I am assuming he could still be convicted of abuse of power, should that happened. I think, at least.
But Democrats, after winning Congress back and suffering through about a year of an epic scandal might not play along. So, you would have the weird situation of the Democrats refusing to impeach a president who obviously has colluded with a foreign power so THEY can impeach him later. It might be a little bit too much for everyone to handle. Or not. The whole thing would be so weird and epic that we’d all be talking about it for years go come.
And that doesn’t even begin to address the fact that Democrats, once they get Congress in their power may, by January 2019 be so radical and pissed that they will go after Pence, too, especially if they know they can get the presidency if they balk and letting him pick his veep.
It would all be very, very weird. And, sadly, the way things are going, it could all be very real in a few years.