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Trump impeachment: President could be trying to goad Democrats

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The number of House Democrats calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump is growing.

Those calling for the president’s impeachment believe that faced with a White House more committed than any other recent administration to blocking congressional probes into the president’s policies and financial affairs, lawmakers must act to remove him from office.

“We are confronting what might be the largest, broadest cover-up in American history,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday, reported the Associated Press. If a House inquiry “leads to other avenues including impeachment, so be it,” Hoyer added.

On Wednesday Trump raised the stakes, storming out of a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer after, in the words of CNN, “orchestrating a public display of fury.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has hinted at his backing for impeachment proceedings.
Toya Sarno Jordan/Reuters

Trump’s tantrum placed added pressure on Pelosi, who has long sought to dampen down talk of impeachment.

Earlier on Wednesday she had met with House Democrats to again urge them to resist impeaching the president, for the time being.

Pelosi even warned last week that the president may be setting a trap for Democrats.

“Trump is goading us to impeach him,” she said at an event in New York City, reported CNN. “That’s what he’s doing. Every single day, he’s just like taunting, taunting, taunting because he knows that it would be very divisive in the country, but he doesn’t really care. He just wants to solidify his base.”

Read more: Trump’s so disgusted by Democrats talking about impeachment that he’ll call it only the ‘I-word’

Belying Pelosi’s fears is evidence that an impeachment battle is one Trump would likely win – and from which he could even emerge stronger.

As things stand, the Republicans who control the Senate are almost certain not to vote to remove the president, should the House impeach Trump.

Justin Amash, a Republican Congressman calling for Trump’s impeachment.
Associated Press/J. Scott Applewhite

Public opinion is not with the Democrats who want Trump impeached, with 53% of Americans in a recent NPR/Marist and NewsHour poll saying they didn’t want the president impeached.

And the president would likely relish the task of taking on Democrats in an impeachment battle, which would allow him to paint Democrats as elitists determined to defy the will of the American people and remove the president from office without a public vote.

“Weirdly, Trump is almost certainly better prepared and temperamentally suited for thermonuclear war with a Democratic House than he was to get substantive achievements out of a Republican House,” wrote National Review editor Rich Lowry in Politico, adding that Trump “has a lifetime’s experience resisting and belittling enemies and extemporizing his way from one crisis to the next.”

Even a Republican has now broken ranks to call for the president’s impeachment, with Michigan Congressman Justin Amash on Saturday declaring that he believes the Mueller report shows Trump engaged in “impeachable conduct.”

But despite the pressure Pelosi is likely for now to hold out against lawmakers clamoring for the president’s removal by Congress.

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