Impeachment used to be a big deal. The 1868 impeachment of U.S. President Andrew Johnson paralyzed Congress for three months, and the Senate came within one vote of removing him from office. President Bill Clinton’s 1999 trial lasted five weeks, with many Republicans joining the minority Democrats in rejecting the charges. President Donald Trump’s trial could be over in a day, if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sees no political benefit in prolonging it. Even if it goes on longer, Trump will be exactly where he most likes to be: at the center of attention.
Thinking back to the early days of the Trump presidency, no one would have been surprised by the thought that, within three years, he would be impeached. People might be considerably more surprised to hear that he would successfully renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and obtain broad congressional support for the new deal. They would be even more shocked to discover that mainstream political opinion had swung behind his trade war with China.
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