During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union”, John McCain explained that he was bothered by a number of things involving Trump and Russia. These included the strange removal of a call for defensive weapons to the Ukraine to defend against Russia from the official party platform. It was not the will of most Republicans, “There’s a lot more shoes to drop from this centipede,” McCain predicted

Following the firing of FBI director James Brien Comey Jr. and the appointment of Bob Mueller a formal FBI director as a special counsel to Investigate Russia-gate, has also raised eyebrows.

Donald Trump’s set of domestic challenges are now snowballing into monstrous proportions, especially after revelations that he spilled classified intelligence (provided by an ally Israel) to the Russians.

In our piece ‘Flynngate and Russian Clouds’, published in The Nation on February 18, we had projected Trump’s domestic challenges and how they were going to affect US internal polity and foreign policy. It was pointed out that US politics was entering unchartered waters, where its mature system of democracy and excellence in governance was in direct clash with Trump’s team; whose members are not only unorthodox, but also bullheaded and recalcitrant.

Three possible scenarios were forecasted:

One, President Trump succumbs to increasing pressure and carries out a mid-course correction in line with the entrenched Establishment of Capitol Hill and CIA head honchos.

Two, the Trump team does not budge and goes for a head on clash with establishment. Trump bulldozes everything on his way through a ‘winner takes all’ strategy, leading to a totally new paradigm in American politics.

Three, Trump is impeached before Christmas of 2017, resulting in strategic chaos in US at grand scale, sending ripples across the globe.

More voices from Republican camp are becoming louder, as reported by The Hill, “Republicans are beginning to talk of the possibility that President Trump could face impeachment after reports that he pressed ousted FBI Director James Comey to end an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn. While Republicans are choosing their words carefully, the fact that impeachment is even being mentioned is notable in Washington’s polarized political environment.”

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said recently, that if the reports about Trump’s pressure on Comey are true, it would merit impeachment. Amash spoke a day after The New York Times on Tuesday reported that Trump tried to pressure Comey to stop investigating Flynn.

Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) has also suggested in an interview with The Hill that the allegations in the Comey memo could lead to a push for impeachment proceedings.

The political gossip and commentary by high stature comedians, political satirists and humorous social critics also points to increasing pressure on President Trump.

They are projecting a long drawn battle between a beleaguered White House and the US legislature in the days to come. John Oliver who hosts Last Week Tonight, pointed out in his show titled ‘Stupid Watergate’, that “we are in for an agonisingly long period of leaks, allegations and recriminations.”

The Democratic camp were commenting, “I love sitting here with a bucket of popcorn watching this horrendous administration disintegrate in front my eyes. It’s a beautiful sight to behold.”

Trump’s tribulations appear to be taxing his time and effort in running the Presidency of the most powerful country in the world. BBC in a report on May 17 pointed out that Trump’s presidency has lurched from one controversy to the next and was on a shakiest ground yet. While addressing a military gathering Trump came out with a frank confession, “No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse, or more unfairly, you can’t let them get you down.”

Trump has also been seen personally criticising the media and critics, he tagged as Fake News, as reported by CBS Chicago, “President Donald Trump has told Time magazine what he thinks of CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert, who made waves early this month with a jaw-dropping political joke at Trump’s expense. ‘You see a no-talent guy like Colbert. There’s nothing funny about what he says. And what he says is filthy,’ Trump told Time magazine in an extended interview published recently. ‘The guy was dying. By the way they were going to take him off television, then he started attacking me and he started doing better,’” Trump was quoted saying.

With Trump’s impeachment echoing across the United States, and a line of succession is not that rosy for half of the Americans who voted for Trump, next in line is the Vice President Mike Pence who has repeatedly displayed his credentials as a hardliner, “I am a Christian, a Conservative and Republican, in that order.”We may be in for a hardliner POTUS after Trump.

Trump may survive the current turmoil, but the pressure built upon the White House, especially of Russia-gate, is not going away. America is in for a long summer of discontent, a scandalised polity, power jockeying and mudslinging. Interesting times ahead.

 

n             The writers are freelance columnists.