The line isn’t new. From the evening of the election there have been rumors of impeaching President Trump, but they have been mostly rumors, conspiracy theories from Trump supports or wishful thinking of Democrats. However, now three senior congressional staffers report that Republican leaders have had discussions of articles of impeachment. “They don’t currently have anything strong enough to impeach him right now,” noted one of the staffers, “but they’re betting on either the Russian thing or that Trump will hand them something, and they plan on being ready for it.”
Regardless of ammo, investigations in Congress, leaks on Russia, suspicions of the general public and prominent Republicans like John McCain pushing for investigations creates an environment that is very likely for more and deeper investigations. Currently there are several investigation ongoing, but what to effort is highly questionable. Despite the investigations the story remains the same, “the GOP wants Pence in charge,” according to one staff. “He is reliable and party guy, whereas Trump is completely unpredictable. Even Pence doesn’t have a clue what he is going to do next. That’s why Trump needs to go.”
Part of the drive to impeach Trump is the fear that he will be severely detrimental to the Republicans in 2018. “He going to get Republicans hanged in midterms,” is how one Senatorial aide put it. The Republican leadership believes Pence can not only hold the balance in congress, but actually improve Republican standings in 2018. The view is that with a steady Pence at the helm and a conservative agenda moving through congress they will actually take 60 seats in the Senate by 2020 if not 2018, along with the presidency in 2018. The question remains about the blowback from Trump supports and whether they will go along with the party story.
Regardless, with the Russian hacking and Trump campaign connection stories continuing, there is definitely a movement towards the impeachment camp. The third staffer for a prominent Senator described a recent wave of congressmen that were sitting on the fence warm to the idea of impeachment. “They never fully backed him so it wasn’t a big swing. When they pull the trigger on this there will be shock and awe at the support behind this idea. We’re just waiting for the right moment.”