The media, and to a certain extent, the pollsters, got it seriously wrong when they predicted an easy win for Hillary Clinton in last year’s election. Okay, technically it was, but our Electoral College said otherwise. One professor, though, warned the United States that Trump was going to win. Now, that same professor is predicting that Trump will be impeached.
Allan Lichtman, a professor at American University, reached meme-status last fall for predicting long before anyone else that Trump would win, using a formula based on the popularity of the party in control of the White House that accurately predicted the eight previous presidential elections. Now Lichtman wants everyone to pay attention to the rest of what came through his crystal ball — that Trump will now be impeached.
Trump, naturally, loved Lichtman’s initial prediction. #45 Elect even sent him a note.
“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.”
Trump, of course, didn’t investigate any further. If he had, he would realize that Lichtman may have predicted Trump, but that doesn’t mean he supports him. In fact, he calls the despot (my word) “an existential threat to humanity.”
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.
It’s all part of a brief — designed to be damning — tour through Trump’s history. It includes section headings like “Trump Towers Become Vacant Lots” and “Lying His Way to the Presidency.” It eventually leads Lichtman to the conclusion that Trump might serve himself up for impeachment: “Trump’s disregard for lying in sworn testimony, examined in the context of the Bill Clinton precedent, shows how Trump’s opponents could set an impeachment trap for him through a civil lawsuit.”
It wouldn’t take much. If Democrats regain the House in 2018, Trump’s impeachment is all but guaranteed, but even now, if enough Republicans turn on him, it could easily happen.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images