The professor who accurately predicted President Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory — and who now predicts that he will be impeached — said that he doesn’t think Americans will have to wait for a Democratic Congress in 2018 before Trump is forced out of office.
Politico spoke to Allan Lichtman about his new book, The Case for Impeachment, and why Lichtman believes that the president’s own party will turn on him, enabling Congress to remove him from the White House.
Lichtman — a professor of history at American University — said that Trump and members of his transition team reached out to him after the election, but they only cared about the first part of his prediction, that Trump would take the White House, and ignored the follow-up prediction that he would not be allowed to serve a full term.
“Taking time out of preparing to become the world’s most powerful leader, he wrote me a personal note, saying ‘Professor — Congrats — good call,’” says Lichtman in The Case for Impeachment. “What Trump overlooked, however, was my ‘next big prediction’: that, after winning the presidency, he would be impeached.”
Lichtman himself is no fan of the president. He believes the Trump administration is not just a threat to the U.S., but an “existential threat” to the human race.
“Trump’s policies and appointments pose an existential threat to humanity,” he said in one section of Case for Impeachment. Trump’s disregard of geopolitical protocol and his ignorance on climate change are particularly dangerous, Lichtman believes.
Many of the president’s critics are anxious for the 2018 midterm elections, wherein some Democrats have pledged to take up impeachment as their first priority should the majority of Congressional seats go to Democrats. Lichtman says, however, they may not have to wait that long.
President Trump “threatens the institutions and traditions that have made America safe and free for 230 years,” Lichtman wrote in the book’s early chapters. “I’ll make clear why a Republican Congress might impeach a president of its own party.”
This would come as welcome news to many of Trump’s opponents, who feel that even a far-right Christian Pres. Mike Pence would be an improvement over the chaotic and ill-informed Trump administration.
“Lichtman’s possible offenses that could get Trump to that point are familiar: charges of treason with Russia, abuse of power and emoluments violations,” said Politico. “Lichtman also cites now Attorney General Jeff Sessions, then a senator, who argued that a president could be impeached for offenses committed before he took office. Among those potential offenses, Lichtman lists Trump’s housing violations, charity problems, potential violations of the Cuba embargo and Trump University.”
Trump has potentially sown the seeds of his own undoing, the book says, by setting a precedent of consistently lying under oath in the thousands of lawsuits leveled against him over the years.
“Trump’s disregard for lying in sworn testimony, examined in the context of the Bill Clinton precedent, shows how Trump’s opponents could set an impeachment trap for him through a civil lawsuit,” the professor said.
At other points in the book, he discusses the history of presidential impeachments in the U.S. and offers a list of improvement points for Trump if he wants to avoid getting booted from office.
The president, he said, needs to fully divest himself of his business interests, sign on to the Paris climate accord like his predecessor Pres. Barack Obama, use a fact-checker, be more respectful to women and “add a shrink to the White House physicians.”
The Case for Impeachment is out next week.