A journalist who helped break the Watergate scandal that ended the presidency of Richard Nixon has written that an impeachment process against President Donald Trump “now seems inescapable.”
Elizabeth Drew wrote in an op-ed in The New York Times that the evidence was now swirling against Trump as he faces a tough 2019. She cites his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the partial government shutdown as sounding alarms for many Republicans.
“It always seemed to me that Mr. Trump’s turbulent presidency was unsustainable and that key Republicans would eventually decide that he had become too great a burden to the party or too great a danger to the country. That time may have arrived.
“In the end the Republicans will opt for their own political survival. Almost from the outset some Senate Republicans have speculated on how long his presidency would last. Some surely noticed that his base didn’t prevail in the midterms.”
Drew said she did not believe the Republican-dominated Senate would save Trump should the House vote to impeach him, as many within the GOP have criticized his recent actions, such as his support of Saudi Arabia despite the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and his decision on Syria.
Drew said that Trump, like Nixon, will want legal protection in the future, noting that he was pardoned by President Gerald Ford with no proof offered that this was a fix.
“While Mr. Trump’s case is more complex than Mr. Nixon’s, the evident dangers of keeping an out-of-control president in office might well impel politicians in both parties, not without controversy, to want to make a deal to get him out of there,” she wrote.
Meanwhile, Trump will start 2019 dealing a government shutdown likely to drag into next week. In a statement the White House said Trump would not back down in his demand for $5 billion to build a wall, the key sticking point of the dispute.
“The President has made clear that any bill to fund the government must adequately fund border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs, criminals, MS-13 gang members, child smugglers and human traffickers into our communities and protect the American people,” the White House said, according to The Hill.