Letter: Don’t jump to impeachment conclusion

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 21, 2017

Over the past few days there have been countless new reasons to doubt the validity — or at least the seriousness — of the Trump Administration. From firing and then apparently threatening James Comey, disclosing secret Israeli intelligence to the Russians, or the revelation that he may have asked Director Comey to end his investigation into Michael Flynn, headlines from the Oval Office have portrayed an administration in disarray, and arguably a downward spiral.

It comes as no surprise, then, that many Democrats are calling (as they have since inauguration day) for impeachment. But not so fast. The first step toward that would not be realistic before 2018. With a Republican majority in the House, a call for impeachment hearings would be political suicide. As Trump becomes less and less popular, and as his administration remains mired in scandal, the likelihood of a Democratic majority in the midterm elections increases.

However, impeachment by the House is only a formal charge. Basically, the House posits that the president has acted illegally. There is an argument to be made that he obstructed justice, if he indeed tried to strong-arm Comey into ending an investigation into Flynn. But to actually remove a sitting president, the Senate would have to secure a two-thirds majority. The last time a single party held that many seats was in 1967. It would take a major bombshell for Republicans to split ranks and seek Trump’s removal.

All of this is just to present a sober account of how the process works. The reality of the situation is that, save some catastrophic revelation, Trump will likely serve out his full term. For better or worse, Republicans continue to circle the wagons. What remains to be seen is just how long you can keep breathing when those wagons are erupting into flames.

— Kirk Kovach