Donald Trump might have sealed the end of his presidency by firing former FBI chief James Comey, says a former US labor secretary, arguing that the Republican president’s move might amount to an “impeachable offense.” Robert Reich, who served under then President Bill Clinton between 1993 and 1997, wrote in a Newsweek article on Monday that Trump may have been “seeking to silence, intimidate or even influence” Comey, who oversaw a crucial probe into the president’s ties with Russia.
Before the election, the dismissed FBI director led a controversial probe into Clinton’s use of a personal server to exchange government emails while she was secretary of state. After the election, he began investigating Trump’s alleged ties to Russia as well as a series of cyber attacks against Clinton’s campaign, which Democrats claimed were conducted by Russian hackers.
Comey was “likely to offer evidence in a congressional or criminal proceeding,” in which case his dismissal “is also an obstruction of justice – and an impeachable offense,” Reich wrote. However, the former secretary admitted that impeaching Trump was a question of when, given that the currently Congress is dominated by Republicans.
Democrats’ needs 22 more seat at the House of Representatives to bring an impeachment deal. This means they have to wait for the 2018 midterm elections. “Those elections are less than eighteen months away. That’s a long time in American politics. Under a Trump presidency, that’s an eternity,” he noted.
In his article, Reich raised another possible scenario that was likely to yield the result they wanted in a much shorter time. “If Trump’s poll numbers continue to plummet – particularly among Republicans and Independents – twenty-two House Republicans may well decide their chances for being reelected are better if they abandon him before the 2018 midterms,” he argued.
After more than 100 days in office, Trump’s job approval ratings have been the least among four US presidents, according to a new poll. The Gallup survey released Monday showed that only 38 percent of Americans approved of Trump’s performance as president. Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama had an approval rating of 64 percent at this point in his presidency. The number stood at 56 percent for his Republican predecessor George W. Bush. For Clinton, the number fell to 45 percent.