Most assume, probably correctly, that President Trump will never be impeached while the Republican Party controls all branches of the American government. Or at least there would have to be an extraordinarily damning turn of events to make it happen. However, with Democrats expecting to win back the house (and possibly the Senate), in races that will be decided later this year, it’s worth noting that talk of impeachment appears to be ticking up ever so slightly.
This is a topic that, when Trump first took office, was popular enough that even major betting and gaming firms were placing semi-favorable odds on it. Just after the inauguration in January of 2017 one site noted that odds of impeachment weren’t necessarily strong.
But were definitely higher than betting on the impeachment of Obama at any point during his eight years in office. During some particularly controversial or turbulent weeks here and there since this was written, odds of impeachment have actually increased. There are times however, such as the first month or so of 2018 (when Trump’s approval rating actually got a boost for the first time in a while) when talk of impeachment dies down.
As of late February, however, it’s picking back up, perhaps because the midterm elections are just around the corner, and a House controlled by Democrats would actually have a shot at getting something done in this regard.
Most notably, congresswoman Maxine Waters, who has been one of the most vocal and consistent Trump critics among Democrats, has supposedly been prepping the Democrats for impeachment. Waters recently spoke at the California Democratic Party convention in San Diego and discussed her belief that the special counsel headed by Robert Mueller is nearing a point at which it will uncover damning information about the Trump campaign’s connection to Russian meddlers in the 2016 election. Building on this, she said she “cannot wait” to start impeachment proceedings (perhaps implying the Democrats could do so if and when they make gains in Congress).
On a somewhat more neutral level, the “Impeach-o-Meter” hosted by the news site Slate has also increased its outlook for impeachment (to 50 percent, which is probably somewhat dramatic). The accompanying article cited improving Democratic polling in the midterm elections, the Mueller investigation, and Trump’s regrettable reaction to the recent mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school as reasons for stronger impeachment odds.
None of this is by any stretch of the imagination definitive. But the common thread among renewed talks of impeachment appears to be that we’re nearing a point of potential congressional turnover, and that at least feels significant. If Democrats’ gains in Congress are strong come this fall, talk of impeachment could become more than just a fanciful narrative by the opposition party.