Last year, when Donald Trump’s approval ratings were even lower than they are now, one, lone voice said that Trump would likely win the election, based on his thirteen criteria. People gave him such a hard time that he back-pedaled, saying it’s possible that that year might be an anomaly, since it was weird in so many other ways, but when the votes were counted, his solitary prediction proved to be right.
We wrote about Allan Lichtman, American University, in our own pages. In July, “Forecasts, Get Your Forecasts Here!” and twice in October “Technical Indicators Point to a Trump Win,” and, “Forget the Polls, Many Signs Point to Trump Win.”
Now, Lichtman is coming out, next week, with a new book, this time predicting that that very same Donald J. Trump is headed for Impeachment.
The people who paid attention only to the professor’s first prediction include the commander in chief, whom Lichtman says reached out to him during the transition.
“Taking time out of preparing to become the world’s most powerful leader, he wrote me a personal note, saying ‘Professor — Congrats — good call,’” Lichtman writes in “The Case for Impeachment,” an advance copy of which was shared with POLITICO. “What Trump overlooked, however, was my ‘next big prediction’: that, after winning the presidency, he would be impeached.” . . .
The book, rushed to the presses after the election, provides a brief history of the thinking that led the Framers to include impeachment, and the behavior that led presidents to get impeached — counting Richard Nixon along with Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton (the two presidents who didn’t resign before the Articles of Impeachment were read in the House), Lichtman points out that one out of every 14 presidents has been impeached: “gamblers have become rich betting on longer odds than that.”. . .
Lichtman’s list of possible offenses that could get Trump to that point are familiar: charges of treason with Russia, abuse of power and emoluments violations. Lichtman also cites now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, then a senator, who argued that a president could be impeached for offenses committed before he took office. Among those potential offenses, Lichtman lists Trump’s housing violations, charity problems, potential violations of the Cuba embargo and Trump University.
Lichtman says that Democrats have been threatening to impeach Trump if they take over Congress in 2018 (a long shot, at best), but Lichtman says there’s also a chance that Republicans will do the deed before then, writing about, “how Trump threatens the institutions and traditions that have made America safe and free for 230 years, and I’ll make clear why a Republican Congress might impeach a president of its own party.”
There have already been rumblings among Trump’s own base.
Donald Trump’s true believers are losing the faith.
As Trump struggles to keep his campaign promises and flirts with political moderation, his most steadfast supporters — from veteran advisers to anti-immigration activists to the volunteers who dropped their jobs to help elect him — are increasingly dismayed by the direction of his presidency. . .
Tania Vojvodic, a fervent Trump supporter. . . launched a Facebook group called, “The concerned support base of President Trump,” which quickly drew several dozen sign-ups. She also changed the banner on her Facebook page to a picture of Bannon accompanied by the declaration: “Mr. President: I stand with Steve Bannon.”
“I’m not so infatuated with Trump that I can’t see the facts,” she said. “People’s belief, their trust in him, it’s declining.”. . .
“It was like, here’s the chance to do something different. And that’s why people’s hopes are dashed,” said Lee Stranahan, who, as a former writer at Breitbart News, once worked with Bannon. “There was always the question of, ‘Did he really believe this stuff?’ Apparently, the answer is, ‘Not as much as you’d like.’”. . .
The gripes go beyond [Steve] Bannon’s apparent downgrade. Many of Trump’s most stalwart supporters, including radio show hosts Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham, called last week’s bombing of Syria a betrayal of Trump’s pledge to be an “America First” commander in chief who would avoid unnecessary conflicts overseas. . .
Other Trump boosters worry that he’s ditching his economic agenda. They wonder why he backed off his vow to label China a currency manipulator, and are chagrined by his reversal on his position to eliminate the Export-Import Bank.
The BBC, which is incredibly insightful about America, compares what Trump said before and after the election, about specific issues. The Atlantic goes farther, pointing out Trump’s “flip-flops.” If you want to keep score for yourself, the Washington Post collected 282 promises to grade him on.
Newsmax also suggests that conservatives would love to impeach Trump, because they would then have the totally predictable and reliable Mike Pence in charge.
Lichtman claims that Trump will be dragged down by questions about his connections to Russia and conflicts of interest from his business ties. He first made the prediction in September to The Washington Post, saying congressional Republicans “don’t want Trump as president, because they can’t control him.”
He added that Trump is “unpredictable. They’d love to have Pence — an absolutely down-the-line, conservative, controllable Republican. And I’m quite certain Trump will give someone grounds for impeachment, either by doing something that endangers national security or because it helps his pocketbook.”
The various stories don’t provide any evidence that an impeachment is likely. It may well be that Lichtman realizes that making outrageous forecasts gets a lot of attention. And even if he’s wrong this time, he’d still be batting .500 (even Babe Ruth only got as high as .393, in 1923). On the other hand, if he turns out to be right, will be more famous than George Herman Ruth–the Great Bambino, the Sultan of Swat, the Caliph of Clout, the King of Crash. We’ll just have to wait for the book to see if it’s a home run—or a swing-and-a-miss.