Presidential historian drops bomb on Trump over how history will treat him if he goes down to defeat in 2020
President Donald Trump rants in the White House Rose Garden (Screen cap).

On Saturday, historian Michael Beschloss told MSNBC's Joy Reid that if President Donald Trump were to be defeated for a second term in 2020, it would likely be viewed by history as functionally equivalent to if he had been impeached and removed from office. Nevertheless, he added, that does not mean there wouldn't be differences in those scenarios, or that there wouldn't be downsides to avoiding impeachment.

"So for Trump, the question that Democrats are asking is that losing an election, is the equivalent sanction, historically," said Reid. "There have been only a few. It's very hard to stop a president from being re-elected, there are not that many who try to be re-elected that are not. Is becoming a one-term president, from a historian's point of view, equal to impeachment?"

"Well in a way, it is, if people have said that you were defeated because of the reasons that you were impeached for," said Beschloss. "So that's one thing to think about."

"I think the larger thing to think about ... one of the things that's come through this as a pattern is that one thing impeachment does is there is a president who is going out of control," Beschloss added. "Impeachment is a statement by Congress that this cannot continue."

"And I think in the same sense, if Donald Trump tries to expand power and Congress doesn't say this is something we have to blow the whistle on, we've got to restore the balance of power between the Congress and the presidency, then we're really in danger of losing our democracy, and future presidents will say, 'Donald Trump got away with everything and he didn't even get impeached, so will I,'" said Beschloss.

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