Former White House political strategist Steve Bannon's declaration of war against the Republican Party establishment could inadvertently help Democrats retake the House in 2018 -- and could set the stage for President Donald Trump's impeachment, White House allies fear.
In talking to CNN, multiple Republican sources said that Bannon's decision to run primaries against multiple incumbent Republican congressmen and senators risks dividing the party ahead of next year's midterm elections, thus increasing the risk that Democrats will retake at least one chamber of Congress.
And if the Democrats do retake the House, they warn, Trump's presidency will be ground to a complete halt -- and perhaps end with his impeachment.
"Won't it be ironic that Steve Bannon helped get the President elected and impeached?" one GOP source told CNN.
Other Republicans say that, even if Democrats don't impeach Trump, they will still do everything in their power to make him as miserable as possible for the remainder of his term.
"Once the House is lost, then it just becomes, 'Let's look into Don Jr.'s tweets, let's subpoena his country club locker,'" one GOP strategist told CNN. "Nothing is going to get done."
Another GOP congressional aide similarly predicted that a Democratic Congress would simply make Trump's life "a living hell."