Impeachment Inquiry 'Surprising' in Some Ways to UB Pundit

Neiheisel says impeachment likely, removal in Senate not

Tom Puckett
September 25, 2019 - 4:00 am

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has launched a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, yielding to mounting pressure from fellow Democrats and plunging a deeply divided nation into an election year clash between Congress and the commander in chief.

The impeachment inquiry is surprising in one way to a University at Buffalo political science professor and WBEN contributor, but in another way, not so much.

"They have been beating this drumbeat for sometime," says UB's Jacob Neiheisel. "But on the other hand, it's not all that surprising because the nature of the alleged acts, which is to say Trump's actions are directly stepping on the toes of Congress' authorities and duties. This might be a last straw with another Democrats on board that they're willing to file articles of impeachment for abuse of power."

Neiheisel says the impeachment inquiry can have a wide range of topics. "There's nothing restricting them to the most recent incident. They could go back into the Russia investigation and allege there was obstruction, so there may a scattershot approach. There's no guarantee all of the aritcles will be forwarded, but they'll likely be discussed," explains Neiheisel.

Neiheisel says impeachment is likely. "One thing speakers don't like to do is get out in front of something unless they have the votes, and Speaker Pelosi expects she has the votes," says Neiheisel. "It'll be along party lines." But in the Senate trial, "I am somewhat doubtful they will take it up and if they do, they won't have the votes for removal," as Neiheisel notes there must be a 2/3 majority for removal. As for Republicans defecting, "There may be a couple but it's a supermajority in the Senate to remove, and I don't see that coming," notes Neiheisel.

Neiheisel says there's risk and reward for lawmakers heading into the 2020 election. "It depends on what comes out. Republicans went down this road impeaching Bill Clinton, and then in the midterms, they lost seats. There could be blowback on this if the American people are not on board with impeachment. Everything that comes out during the hearings will be public information and some things won't be favorable to Donald Trump," adds Neiheisel.

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