by Matthew Rusling
WASHINGTON, May 4 (Xinhua) -- While U.S. President Donald Trump continues to see low approval ratings, the bombastic billionaire is unlikely to be forced from office via impeachment, experts said.
Trump has been a highly controversial figure since even before he clinched the White House over a year ago, and charges of alleged collusion with Russia continue to dog the president, sparking an open feud between Trump and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is spearheading a probe into any alleged wrongdoing on the part of Trump's team in the Russia fiasco.
But despite the continued controversy, experts said impeachment is highly unlikely, and polls indicate the same.
NOT BEST CHOICE FOR DEMOCRATS
It could be a risky political move for democrats. "Democratic leaders are not eager to encourage impeachment talk because they worry it will energize the GOP base and make it more difficult to do well in November," Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Darrell West told Xinhua.
According to a Rasmussen poll released Friday, voters do not believe pursuing impeachment is the best strategy for Democrats running in this year's mid-term elections. A paltry 15 percent of likely U.S. voters believe focusing on the president's possible impeachment is a better campaign strategy for Democratic congressional candidates than focusing on policy areas where they disagree with Trump.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 70 percent think focusing on policy differences is a better political strategy, the polling company reported Friday.
Forty-one percent now believe the president will be reelected in 2020, up from 34 percent in late December, Rasmussen reported Friday. Twenty-six percent still think Trump will be defeated by the Democratic nominee, but 31 percent felt that way four months ago. Twenty-five percent say the president will be impeached before serving his first full-term in office, comparing to 29 percent in the previous survey.
Experts also argued that impeachment would be challenging for Democratic lawmakers.
"It would be politically challenging for Dems to take two-thirds of the Senate and maintain the political momentum throughout impeachment," Dan Mahaffee, senior vice president and director of policy at the Center for the Study of Congress and the Presidency, told Xinhua, speaking up the 2018 Congressional elections.
LONG, COMPLICATED PROCESS
Impeachment is a long and complicated process. It is difficult to impeach a president for simply being unpopular, incompetent or foul-mouthed.
"It is a very rare process in American history for a reason," Mahaffee said. "I don't think impeachment will do anything to further Democratic policies or achieve their goal of demonstrating that 'Trumpism' is a political dead end. Losses at elections will be the only way to demonstrate that an ideology does not enjoy the support of the broader public," .
Historically, impeachment is rare. The United States, unlike many other countries worldwide, is a country where the rule of law is king. The last two presidents to be impeached were Richard Nixon in 1974 and Bill Clinton, initiated in 1998. The charge against Nixon was obstruction of justice, a specific charge based on very specific breeches of the legal code. Clinton was charged with perjury -- willfully and knowingly lying to a court of law about his affair with an intern.
Moreover, an impeachment trial does not mean a president will be found guilty and removed from office. In the case of Clinton's impeachment, lawmakers in Clinton's party did not feel his perjury was serious enough to justify being removed from office. After all, the lie was about an affair, not about national security, illegal use of funds or anything of the sort. Clinton was subsequently acquitted.