A sensational investigation into Russian meddling in the US election is engulfing Trump after charges were brought against two of his former associates.
Paul Manafort, his former campaign manager, and Richard Gates, a business associate, were indicted by special investigator Robert Mueller on Monday.
Trump staunchly denies there was any “collision” between his campaign and the Kremlin during the 2016 election.
But with charges filed against former members of his inner circle, talk of Trump resigning or being impeached over the probe is begining to swirl.
Professor Allan Lichtman, of Washington DC’s American University, believes the odds of Trump being impeached or resigning within months are now “quite high”.
Speaking exclusively to Daily Star Online, Lichtman, who predicted Trump’s shock election win, said he could be removed from office in spring 2018.
The Republican Party may seek to move Trump if the Russia inquiry jeopardises their chances of being re-elected, he said.
“The odds on a Trump impeachment or a Nixon-style resignation are now quite high,” he said.
“It will depend on what other information emerges from the Mueller investigation.
“In would likely come by the spring of 2018, or whenever Republicans come to believe that Trump is jeopardising their re-elections in 2018.”
Manafort and Gates have pleaded not guilty to all charges, which include money laundering, tax evasion and conspiracy to defraud the US government.
In another bombshell revelation, a third associate, George Papadopoulos – his foreign policy advisor – was also revealed to have pleaded guilty to lying to FBI investigators.
When the indictments were issued, Trump tweeted: “Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????”
Although the indictments do not relate to Trump, Lichtman said the investigation could still bring “impeachable offences” against him.
He said: “It matters little to the nation whether Manafort or Gates go to jail, it matter a great deal with the president in control of the nuclear codes is guilty of impeachable offenses, which do not have to be indictable crimes.
“Precedent suggests, although it is not a settled matter, that Mueller cannot indict Trump, but he can recommend impeachment to the House or provide information that becomes the basis for impeachment.”
Impeachment proceedings have to be passed by both chambers in Congress – the Senate and and House of Representatives.
Because the Republican Party has a two thirds majority in both chambers, Impeachment is unlikely to be passed, unless Trump proves to be a liability.
But the investigation is far from over, Lichtman said.
He said it is “virtually certain” Mueller, Justice Department special counsel, will issue “additional indictments” against Trump associates.
Mueller may use the indictments to pressure those individuals to “testify against Trump in return for some sort of a plea deal”. THINK YOUR FRIEND WOULD BE INTRESTED? SHARE THIS STORY USING ANY OF THE SHARE BUTTON BELOW ⬇ PLACE YOUR TEXT ADVERT BELOW:>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>