I now think Donald Trump will be impeached by the House and convicted in the Senate. He is leaving Congress with no choice. While he could declare himself the most successful president ever and resign, waning public support will soon drain that option of glamour, making it less likely.
The final straw to justify conviction in the Senate will likely be a legal technicality, an article of impeachment the House can prove as a statutory violation. Republicans in Congress will realize Mr. Trump is sinking their political ship, individually and collectively. While his fierce base can do them harm, it is too narrow to win their re-elections. Forced to make a public choice, they will have to acknowledge his wrongdoing and vote to convict.
Impeachment will be both necessary and correct. Necessary, because the evidence of criminal and Constitutional wrongdoing will be clear and convincing; but correct for reasons more aligned with the historical intention of the impeachment remedy as imported to our Constitution from England: to remove a destructive or divisive public official without criminal prosecution or assassination.
Whether we view Donald Trump as a populist hero or a narcissistic grifter, there is no denying he is undermining the Nation’s long standing values and norms, deliberately dividing the population, and corrupting the professional independence and capabilities of our government. He has said Article II of the Constitution gives him the right to do whatever he wants, and is acting accordingly. Even if he is, as he says, the smartest, wisest, most capable person on Earth, the Nation’s Constitutional order is built on principles and processes for balancing power and self-governance that must reject a president who denies and defies them.
If his amorality and personal corruption are not reasons to remove him from office, his insistence on superiority over laws and fundamental Constitutional requirements will leave the Senate, when faced with the duty of applying those requirements, with no acceptable choice but to remove him.