On 10 December, the House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump citing alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress and insisting on trial and the president's removal.
Following the House move, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dropped the hint about a "quick" trial in early January 2020. According to Reuters, no Senate Republican has signalled so far that he/she is ready to impeach Trump which means that the Republican-controlled upper chamber of the US Congress is unlikely to find the president guilty.
'Impeaching Trump Won't Save Dems From Political Annihilation in 2020'
According to James Fetzer, professor emeritus at University of Minnesota, the House Dems' impeachment effort will not only fail to remove Trump from office but is likely to backfire on the Democratic Party during the 2020 elections: "As things stand, it looks like the Democrats will go down hard in 2020," he predicts.
The professor suggests that the impeachment inquiry launched by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chair of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff in late September 2019 was driven by the fear of the Dems' "landslide defeat in 2020, where the president they despise has been succeeding beyond anyone's wildest expectations".
"As Rep. Al Green (D-TX) observed, 'If we don't impeach this guy, he will get reelected!' But in appears increasingly probable that, even impeaching Trump is not going to save the Democrats from political annihilation in next year's election," Fetzer notes, outlining four major reasons why, by his account, the Democrats' effort is destined to fail.
First, "the Democrats don't have a viable candidate": neither Joe Biden tarnished by the focus on Ukraine's Burisma case, nor "rich, white, New York billionaire" Michael Bloomberg seem to be a feasible option for the Dems, let alone former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Second, "31 Democrats who gained their seats in the House during the 2018 Midterm elections in red states that Trump had won in 2016 run the risk of losing those seats if they support his impeachment" with many not believing that the charges are serious enough.
Third, "after nearly three years of non-stop (highly biased) [MSM] reporting" about "the Russia interference hoax", the American public "has grown weary of the demonisation of Donald Trump", the academic stresses, adding that CNN ratings "have dropped to a three-year low given the non-stop, 24/7 impeachment coverage," while those of Fox News, with its more balanced coverage, are rising.
Fourth, "during the week following the announcement of the impeachment inquiry, Trump's approval rating increased by 5 percent," the professor elaborates. "It had been at 46 percent but climbed to 51 percent. Moreover, in key swing states, his head-to-head comparisons with the leading Democrats similarly improved".
To further illustrate his point, Fetzer cited the latest Marquette Law School Poll (13-17 November 2019) which indicated that in Wisconsin Trump was leading Democratic frontrunners, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, 47-44, 48-45, 48-43 percent, respectively. "Prior to moving for impeachment, Biden, Sanders and Warren had all led Trump", the professor recalls.
Still, polls numbers do not reflect the real state of affairs, as historically they underestimated Trump support by around 5 percent, Fetzer continues, suggesting that "the situation is actually even more favourable to the president than what these numbers reflect".
On the other hand, Trump enjoys nearly 90 percent support from the Republicans which leaves a zero chance for the Democrats to remove him from office, the academic underscores.
Why Anti-Trump Bias Deserves Further Scrutiny
However, it's half of the story, since the Republicans may proceed with their own investigation into what to be an apparent political bias against Trump and call Joe and Hunter Biden, the so-called "whistleblower" and even Adam Schiff as witnesses, Fetzer suggests.
Mitchell Feierstein, a hedge-fund manager and CEO of the Glacier Environmental Fund Limited, echoes the academic by dubbing the impeachment proceeding as nothing short of a "diversion" by House Democrats Pelosi, Schiff and Jerry Nadler.
"The US Constitution has a mechanism for impeaching a president only if the president commits 'high crimes and misdemeanours,' he says. "The current Congressional proceedings are a sham. The probability of removing President Trump from the presidency is zero."
Citing the recently released FISA report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz and US Attorney John Durham's investigation into the handling of the so-called Trump-Russia probe, also known as Operation Crossfire Hurricane, Feierstein suggests that the inquiries may "result in indictments."
The IG Horowitz report was published on Monday, listing numerous procedural violations by the FBI in acquiring FISA warrants to spy on Donald Trump's campaign. However, the inspector general concluded that Operation Crossfire Hurricane was opened by the FBI with appropriate predication and was not politically motivated.
Following the release of Horowitz' findings, US Attorney Durham issued an official statement revealing that his team "do[es] not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened." Attorney General William Barr, who appointed Durham to conduct the inquiry into the matter, also threw out Horowitz' statement with regard to the apparent lack of bias on the part of the FBI as well as the predication to open the probe into doubt in his recent interview with MSNBC.
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