NewsWeek – Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey Tuesday may have brought the president one step closer to impeachment.
By this point, the controversies surrounding his purported ties to Russia and his campaign’s alleged collusion with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin have enveloped the entirety of Trump’s young tenure in the Oval Office, whether his name is eventually cleared in both issues or not. But the surprise firing of the man leading the investigation into those matters could serve as a catalyst for the public to demand a special prosecutor, urging Trump’s Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill to break away from the president’s wishes and request an appointment to be made.
If that happens, the path to impeachment could eventually begin.
Of course, an impeachment doesn’t definitively indicate Trump will be removed from office: Former President Bill Clinton was officially impeached in December 1998 but was not removed by the Senate, and the same goes with former President Andrew Johnson. In fact, no president has ever been convicted by a Senate. Still, the process is a long and daunting one, which stains a president’s legacy and weakens their ability to serve as a unifying and respected leader.
On the Wednesday morning following Trump’s decision to fire Comey, social media was ablaze with users demanding the official impeachment process begins sooner before later. As #ImpeachTrumpNow began trending worldwide on Twitter, the president was tweeting furiously about his promise to replace the former director with someone “who will do a far better job, bringing back the spirit and prestige of the FBI,” as well as retweeting Drudge Report listicles of major FBI scandals under his watch.