President Donald Trump will not stick around for impeachment, a former adviser to President George W. Bush said earlier this year. Instead, he will choose to resign in exchange for immunity.
According to Newsweek, Alan J. Steinberg made this prediction in January, saying at the time he did not believe Trump would make it to the end of 2019.
“Trump will not be removed from office by the constitutional impeachment and removal process,” Steinberg wrote in a piece for The Star-Ledger. “Instead, the self-professed supreme dealmaker will use his presidency as a bargaining chip with federal and state authorities in 2019, agreeing to leave office in exchange for the relevant authorities not pursuing criminal charges against him, his children or the Trump Organization.”
Steinberg pointed to numerous challenges Trump and his family face on the legal front, at the time including “the investigation from special counsel Robert Mueller, the probe from the Southern District of New York as well as inquiries from the attorney general of New York and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.”
Now, Trump also faces the allegation that he pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, in what appears to be a clear effort to smear the Democratic frontrunner ahead of the 2020 election.
Democratic leadership indicated on Tuesday that the House is on the path toward formal impeachment proceedings, meaning Steinberg’s prediction will likely to be put to the test in the near future.
Others have also suggested that Trump will resign rather than face the intense scrutiny that impeachment would bring, including former GOP Rep. John LeBoutillier, who said in January that “Trump’s presidency will not survive 2019” and he is “headed for a spectacular political crash-and-burn.”
Trump’s ghostwriter for “Art of the Deal” made a similar prediction in 2017, saying the president would resign rather than risk further “humiliation.”
“The reason he’s going to do that, as opposed to go through what could be an impeachment process or a continuing humiliation, is that he wants to figure out a way, as he has done all his career, to turn a loss into a victory. So he will declare victory when he leaves,” Tony Schwartz told CNN at the time.
Whether Trump stays the course or ducks out before Democrats can put him through the ringer remains to be seen, but it is clear that a number of people believe the president will not risk the embarrassment of impeachment.