A former aide to President George W. Bush says Donald Trump won’t be removed from office via impeachment, but predicts that Trump will leave office before the end of this year.
In an op-ed published Wednesday, Alan J. Steinberg, who served as regional administrator of Region 2 EPA in the Bush administration, writes:
“The self-professed supreme dealmaker will use his presidency as a bargaining chip with federal and state authorities in 2019, agreeing to leave office in exchange for the relevant authorities not pursuing criminal charges against him, his children or the Trump Organization.”
And while Steinberg doesn’t think Trump will be found guilty as part of an impeachment, he does suggest that the House of Representatives will indeed impeach him:
“Trump will be impeached by the House of Representatives for high crimes and misdemeanors, specifically his involvement in directing his former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen to commit a felony by making illegal in-kind contributions to the Trump campaign and concealing them. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has already obtained Cohen’s guilty plea to this conduct. Democrats now control the House of Representatives, and the votes will be there for the needed impeachment majority.”
However, Steinberg notes, the Senate won’t have the necessary votes (two-thirds must vote to convict) to remove Trump from office But it won’t matter:
“Before the end of 2019, Donald Trump will resign from the office of the presidency: He will do this pursuant to a deal with the U.S. Justice Department, the incoming President Mike Pence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the New York Attorney General’s Office, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.”
What happens after that? According to Steinberg, Pence will pardon Trump and all pending charges against the outgoing president will be dropped:
“Trump resigns, to then be pardoned by Pence. In turn, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the New York State Attorney General will refrain from filing any charges against Trump and his family members and agree that there will be no forfeiture of Trump Organization assets.”
While it would be welcome news to see Trump resign, it would also be incredibly bittersweet if he faces no legal jeopardy as a result of his actions. Only time will tell if Mr. Steinberg is correct.
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