Is Trump on a Collision Course With Impeachment?

Democrats are largely ducking the topic on the campaign trail, but few people in Washington doubt that it will be on the table if they win the House.

Perhaps only in the Trump era would the prospect of being impeached become a punch line for the president of the United States.

.. If that happens, anyone who thought the battle over Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation was ugly and divisive should buckle up, because history suggests it would provide only a small taste of what lies ahead. The impeachment drives against Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton tore at the nation’s fabric, but an effort to remove Mr. Trump could lead to an even more incendiary conflict, thanks to the advent of social media and Mr. Trump’s brand of blowtorch politics.

.. Rather than being apprehensive about the threat, Mr. Trump, who loves a good brawl, seems almost eager for Democrats to bring it on. He has begun making his case in recent months without waiting for the election. In August, he warned that if he is impeached, “the market would crash” and “everybody would be very poor.” In September, he told supporters it would be their fault if he is impeached because it would mean “you didn’t go out to vote.”

.. And in Iowa, he laid out what would undoubtedly be his public argument. “You get impeached for

  • having created the greatest economy in the history of our country,” he said.
  • “The best job numbers in the history of our country, just about, right?
  • The greatest trade deals, which we’ve just finished, in the history of our country.”

.. the framers anticipated the possibility that a president might try to use his power to thwart investigations into his actions. During the Virginia ratification debate, Mason asked what would happen if a president chose to “pardon crimes which were advised by himself” or to “stop inquiry and prevent detection” of a crime he or an associate had committed? Madison responded that “the House of Representatives can impeach him; they can remove him if found guilty.”