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Professor who predicted every president since 1984 now says Trump will be impeached

Posted at 8:54 PM, May 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-08 08:38:02-04
Professor Allan Lichtman had correctly predicted every election winner since 1984 when he said last September that Donald Trump would win the White House. And now he's predicting the president will be impeached.
 
"I've managed to make all of America angry with me, the pro-Trump and the anti-Trump forces," said Lichtman, a Distinguished Professor of History at American University in Washington, D.C.
 
Lichtman's election prediction was based on a model he calls the "Keys to the White House," a series of 13 yes-or-no questions that determine the vulnerability of the incumbent party. While his impeachment prediction doesn't have the same time-tested formula, Lichtman has marshaled his expertise in American history to argue for his prediction in a new book, The Case for Impeachment.
 
In the book, he lays out eight potential impeachable offenses -- which the Constitution calls "high crimes and misdemeanors" -- from the president's first 100 days that Lichtman argues could lead to President Trump's ouster. They range from the more plausibly unconstitutional conflicts of interests with the Trump Organization to the far-fetched possibility that an international court could rule the administration's retreat from fighting climate change to be a crime against humanity.
 
And he is also keeping an eye on the House, Senate, and Justice Department probes into the Trump Campaign's Russia connections.
 
"If it turns out that members of the Trump team were colluding with the Russians and Trump knew about it, that's a serious crime. It's called misprision of treason, or a failure to report treasonous activities," Lichtman said.
 
Still, there's a big catch to the professor's call this time.
 
"My prediction will come true only if the people will demand it," said Lichtman. That is, the will of the people through their elected representatives - impeachment requires the approval of a majority of the House of Representatives and, if the president is to be removed from office, he must be convicted by two-thirds of the Senate.
 
Two presidents in American history have been impeached: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1999. Neither was convicted. Richard Nixon was facing potential impeachment when he resigned the presidency in 1975.
 
And the immediate prospect of a Trump impeachment looks dim, particularly with Republicans controlling the House majority, many of whom stood behind and beside the president in the White House rose garden on Thursday to celebrate their passing and sending to the Senate the Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill.
 
But Lichtman says current alliances aren't ironclad defenses. In the current Congress, only about two dozen Republicans have to join unified Democrats to reach a majority for impeachment. 
 
"Twenty-three Republicans are now sitting in seats won by Hillary Clinton in 2016 and many others are sitting in vulnerable seats," Lichtman says, also noting the president's historically low popularity and the 20 Republicans who voted against the American Health Care Act.
 
But is this book, arriving so early in Trump's presidency, really just an exercise in liberal wish fulfillment?
 
"Truth is, liberals might be worse off under Mike Pence than they would be under Donald Trump," Lichtman says. Pence "might be shrewder, knows the ways of Washington better, and might be able to get conservative priorities better than Donald Trump, so it's certainly not a liberal wish list."
 
In fact, Lichtman has offered suggestions for Trump to minimize his exposure, such as divesting from his business holdings.
 
"I'd much rather prefer to see Trump govern in the national interest than see him impeached," says Lichtman.
 
And given Lichtman's own winning streak predicting elections with a method that has proven more reliable than polling or data, Trump may be wise to take Lichtman's advice. After all, the steps the president could take to avoid impeachment could also make him a less vulnerable incumbent and lead to the professor predicting Trump's reelection in 2020.