Is Donald Trump likely to be impeached in the next four years?

As the US House of Representatives conducts a full
The move to impeach Bill Clinton fell short in the Senate – will the same be true of Trump? (Source: Getty)

Rachel Cunliffe, deputy editor of Reaction, says Yes.

The new President begins his term facing a defamation lawsuit over his response to sexual misconduct allegations and an ongoing investigation into whether his team conspired with Russia to get him elected. And that’s not even the biggest sword dangling over Trump’s head ready to slash short his presidency.

Now his team has confirmed Trump has no intention of releasing his tax returns, the anarchic truth crusaders at WikiLeaks have sent out a call-to-arms for hackers all over the world. At some point, details of the financial interests Trump has been trying so hard to keep secret will emerge.

Given his tangled web of business conflicts and refusal to establish proper ethical safeguards, it is inconceivable that his presidency won’t at some point cross a line, whether it’s by using Twitter to crash the stock prices of individual companies or softening US foreign policy in countries where he has business projects.

Once those tax returns are released, the clock will be ticking. No one can endure four years of pure scandal.

Andrew Hawkins, chairman of ComRes, says No.

Donald Trump has been responsible for many presidential “firsts” – the oldest incoming President, the only one to appear in a Playboy film, the first billionaire to hold the office. But he is unlikely to be the first removed as a result of impeachment.

As with anything in DC, impeachment is more a political tool than an instrument of justice. Bill Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives but fell way short of the two-thirds Senate majority required to convict him.

With a Republican majority across both Houses, Trump has an impenetrable political firewall. And his tenure is all the more secure given the historical precedent of incumbent party losses mid-term which, together with the Democrats’ parlous state, makes 2018 vital for Republican fortunes.

Despite the media firehose exposing Trump’s past peccadillos, impeachment is a remedy against the actions of elected officials, not the actions of a private individual. Whether his behaviour is impeachable therefore depends on his conduct from now on.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

Related articles