Citizens in our nation have contemplated whether Donald Trump will remain in office for the entirety of his term. Obviously, President Trump is not the most popular president. Thanks to the Robert Mueller investigation, evidence of suspicious behavior continues to stack up. Rather than asking whether Trump will be removed from office, we should ask how Trump will almost inevitably leave office.
In my opinion, the most likely option is that Mueller will indict President Trump. With seemingly so much coming to light during the investigation (i.e. Paul Manafort and Rick Gates’ indictment), it is hard to know how far up the lies go. There is so much indicating ties to Russia and Trump’s administration that it would be hard to believe it isn’t actually happening.
From what I have seen, Mueller appears brazen enough to indict if the option presents itself. Despite many legal experts arguing that Trump cannot be indicted because of presidential immunity, it seems like Mueller could acquire enough information to make it stick if he wanted to. Many people argue that this is just the beginning of the indictments to come from the Mueller investigation. While I do agree, three years and change is a long time for Mueller to get all of the information he needs to make it happen.
The next most likely option is that Trump will be removed by impeachment by Democrats. While I acknowledge that Republicans currently outnumber Democrats in the House and Senate, a lot can happen in the remaining three years of his term. Democrats could win back the House in the 2018 midterm elections, which would give them the power to start the impeachment process.
With the information coming out against the Trump administration having ties with Russia, even if Mueller only releases a damning report regarding campaign actions, rather than finding cause to indict the President, Democrats will then have widespread support for impeachment. They could also impeach him for obstruction of justice and his alleged violations of the Emoluments Clause. I highly doubt that if they get the opportunity to remove Trump from office, they won’t use it.
The most common way past presidents have left office is death. There is a lot of mystery surrounding President Trump’s health. Former President Barack Obama released a summary of his medical history in 2008 when campaigning and released the results of his annual physicals while in office. Trump has not, which leads to suspicion about his health. There is also the simple fact that Secret Service is being spread too thin with people having already hit their hour caps for the year and the Secret Service budget being hit before the year was even over. Hopefully this issue can be resolved soon, possibly with less traveling by Trump.
The next option is that a Republican Congress will impeach him. I acknowledge the very slim chance of this happening, but I cannot ignore the fact that Republicans have been unable to achieve any of their major goals that they harped on during the election. The Affordable Care Act hasn’t been removed. The deficit hasn’t been addressed. Tax reform hasn’t happened how they would like.
Paul Ryan would do almost anything to make tax reform happen. When asked about the recent indictments, he pivoting to tax reform, stating that “Nothing is going to derail us from focusing on that.” Since Trump has been unable to deliver on his promises so far, Republicans could decide to impeach just to get something done. This theory unfortunately assumes Paul Ryan would have the courage to do it, which is highly unlikely. It would also be against the interest of Republicans to dethrone their president.
The last option is that Trump’s cabinet will choose to use the 25th amendment to remove him from office. This amendment allows a majority of the cabinet and the Vice President to decide that the president is unfit to perform the duties of the presidency. This is unlikely because the 25th amendment is intended for use when a president has a physical illness. His cabinet also has no reason to remove him when he gave them power. While this is unlikely, it is not impossible since only half of the Cabinet and the Vice President has to decide Trump is unfit.
With so much coming out against Trump and so many different people who can make the decision to take him out of office, it is almost certain to happen. Some people have more to gain or lose from Trump’s removal from office than others, but I cannot imagine someone not taking down Trump when the opportunity presents itself.