On Tuesday the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi signaled she would begin formal impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. On the same day, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson unlawfully dismissed Parliament and that it was back in session. Both would have been earth-shattering stories in any other year, but alas we are in 2019, the year where nothing is too outrageous.
Let's start with the less damaging of the two developments, Trump. The Democrats in the House, specifically the "progressives," believe that Trump needs to be punished for his actions, most notably his latest attempt to get "dirt" on the Democratic front-runner Joe Biden from Ukraine. Whether or not he actually asked for damaging material and whether or not he did so in jest (as he often claims to do) or as part of some quid-pro-quo has yet to be proven, but whatever he did, it's far from the worst thing he has ever done. Does this mean he has carte blanche from here on out? Of course not. Trump should be held accountable if (and only if) he will actually be held accountable.
Not unlike Hydra of Lerna from Greek mythology, Trump only gains in strength as you attack him. His base feeds off of his "I've been wronged" and "they're out to get me" rhetoric. So what happens now? The House Judiciary Committee votes to discuss impeachment. Should they find sufficient grounds for impeachment they vote to pass along articles of impeachment to the full House. Should the full House vote to impeach by a simple majority, the Senate begins a trial of President Trump. Following the trial, a two-thirds majority of Senators is required to convict. What will happen? The House Judiciary Committee will vote to discuss. They will investigate publicly. They will vote to impeach. The full House will then most probably vote to impeach. The Senate will take up impeachment, short of some Mitch McConnell last-minute procedural loophole, and will "acquit" Trump.
This will only embolden Trump in the 2020 elections. He'll campaign that he was found "innocent" and that it's all "one big witch hunt" and the electorate will believe him, and he will be re-elected. Why are the Democrats doing this, then? They are gambling that they can dig up more dirt on Trump during the investigations and weaken his position, but I doubt they will succeed. On to the much more exciting and unpredictable Brexit debacle episode 94. The Supreme Court has thrown a monkey wrench into Johnson's plans of running out the shot-clock on Parliament and forcing the passage of a no-deal Brexit. Now the House of Commons will have three weeks to debate and force Johnson to abandon Brexit once again and ask Brussels, hat in hand, for another extension. This would make Johnson look weak at which point Labor goes for the jugular and calls for new elections and attempts to regain power after a decade of Tory control. The pound sterling is down near 1% today on this news and European equity markets are down as much overall as uncertainty takes hold.
Look for Trump to pull through while Johnson becomes ever more embattled. Uncertainty, however, will prevail until at least the end of 2019, look for massive "risk-off" moves to take place in the coming weeks.
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