Months before Donald Trump was even nominated for president at the Republican National Convention, the possibility of impeaching President Trump was already being floated in political circles.
“‘Impeachment’ is already on the lips of pundits, newspaper editorials, constitutional scholars, and even a few members of Congress,” read an April 2016 Politico piece, titled, “Could Trump Be Impeached Shortly After He Takes Office?”
“They’ll be talking impeachment on day two, after the first Trump executive order,” conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh predicted a month before the Politico piece. “You might finally get to see unified opposition to the guy.”
“The only way Obama has gotten away with all this authoritarian executive order stuff is the Republican Party hasn’t stopped him. You want to see an opposition party in action, take a look at Democrats down the road,” he added.
Rush reiterated that prediction less than a week before the election. “I think one of the plans the Never Trumpers have if he wins is to impeach him,” the radio host said.
A day before the election, researchers with the University of Utah made the legal case for impeaching Trump if he won the election. The researchers claimed Trump could be charged with fraud or racketeering, both of which are felonies.
Shortly after the election, an American University professor famed for his accurate electoral predictions — including that Trump would win the election — said Trump faced good chances of impeachment in his first term of office. “Republicans love control and they would love to see Mike Pence as president because he is predictable and controllable – a down-the-pipe standard conservative Republican,” professor Allan Lichtman said. The prediction was covered by CNN and The Washington Post, among other outlets.
Similarly, conservative legal expert Steve Calabresi said that “impeachment needs to be on the table” shortly after Trump’s electoral victory. Calabresi, co-founder of the conservative Federalist Society, said Trump would be “on a short leash” in the White House. “There could be a spectacular end,” Calabresi predicted.
Days before Trump’s inauguration, California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters was already making the case for his impeachment.
Impeachment talks heated up after Trump’s inauguration in January.
“Here’s how President Trump may have already set himself up for impeachment,” read an Inauguration Day headline in the New York Daily News. That same day, GQ Magazine published an explainer piece on how to impeach a president, while The Washington Post and Time magazine ran stories on the campaign to impeach a president who had yet to take his oath of office.
Today, some Democrats and even a couple of Republicans are raising the possibility of impeaching the president after a New York Times report that Trump asked then-FBI Director Comey to “let go” of the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The allegations are said to have come from a memo Comey authored after meeting with Trump in the Oval Office, where he said Trump made the request regarding the Flynn investigation. Trump also reportedly raised the issue of jailing reporters who publish classified information.
The memo is one of several damaging leaks about Trump’s relationship with Comey that have surfaced since the president abruptly fired him. (RELATED: The Predictable Catastrophe Of Firing James Comey)
“Yes,” Republican Rep. Justin Amash said when asked whether the contents of the memo, if true, would merit impeachment proceedings. “But everybody gets a fair trial in this country.”