A few hours before the Comey memo news broke, we posted "Height Securities Begins Contemplating "Impeachment": Here's What To Look For", and as expected, starkly adverse news such as this was one of the catalysts.
Predictably it did not take long after the NYT story hit, for impeachment calls to hit a crescendo. First it was CNN's Wolf Blitzer who brought up the possibility of impeaching President Trump in an interview with Independent Senator Angus King.
"If these allegations, Senator, are true are we getting closer and closer to the possibility of yet another impeachment process?" Blitzer asked.
"Reluctantly, Wolf, I have to say yes simply because obstruction of justice is such a serious offense," King responded.
That was just the beginning.
Shortly thereafter, a group of President Trump's most outspoken critics seized the Comey controversy to make a very early push for impeachment.
According to Fox News, the latest call came from Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, who released a statement suggesting Comey’s ouster from atop the FBI was an obstruction of the investigation “of the president’s campaign ties to Russian influence in his 2016 presidential election.” He said Trump has committed acts that “amount to intimidation and obstruction.”
“Our mantra should be I.T.N—Impeach Trump Now,” Green wrote in an email, which included a line in red pushing those who received the email to “forward this email to others who may be interested.”
Green joined other Democratic lawmakers like Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who has been discussing impeachment for months. Waters took to Twitter in April saying that she would “fight every day until he’s impeached.” She later denied calling for impeachment, but on Thursday renewed her push during an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.
“I’ve said all along that he will lead us to impeachment, and he’s doing just that,” Waters said on MSNBC. “We’re fiddling while Rome is burning. This president needs to be impeached.”
Others Democratic lawmakers who have brought up the topic of impeachment include Reps. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., who told a local news station last week that Democrats were “actually pretty close to considering impeachment,” and Mark Pocan, D-Wis., who said on local radio that if there was an “impeachment clock,” Comey’s ouster would have moved it an “hour closer.”
Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., also joined the discussion, tweeting last week that “Impeachment will happen if a handful of Republicans in Congress join Dems to put country above party. Or in 2019 after Dems win the House.”
This echoes what Heights' Peter Cohn said in his note earlier, when he wrote that a Trump impeachment "depends on Republicans turning against him", as impeachment proceedings can only begin with the majority party, and the 25th Amendment (allowing for president’s removal when unable to discharge powers/duties of his office) can only be invoked by Congress and/or vice president, majority of Cabinet.
What will Height be closely watching to see if the Trump drama enters a potentially terminal phase: the main catalyst is whether Sen. John McCain, chairman of Armed Services Committee, begins calling for Trump’s resignation, as U.S. national security issues may increase concern among Republican voters.
On the other side of the debate, Dennis Kucinich, former Ohio congressman and a Fox News contributor who called for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney over the decision to go to war in Iraq, told Fox News that this is only an option “after exhausting a number of other options.”
“It is destructive to America to proceed with an impeachment at this stage of the presidency,” Kucinich said. “This is not the first thing you reach for, because when the first big move a party makes is towards impeachment, it’s very difficult for the American people to conclude that it is anything but a partisan issue.”
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In order to impeach the president of the United States, the House of Representatives must have the support of the majority of members. At this point, no Republicans have voiced support, or even made the suggestion to begin the impeachment process.
However, the market is starting to look two steps ahead, and according to PredicIt, Trump's odds of getting impeached in 2017 have soared from 19% to 29%, a 50% surge since the NYT story broke.