At Brookings William Galston analyses what he says have been the three major factor in recent impeachments—presidential job approval, public support for impeaching and removing the president, and bipartisan support in Congress—in the context of the present situation:
Persuading the public to support impeaching and removing a president is a two-step process. The public must be convinced that the charges are true—and that they are weighty enough to justify overturning the results of a presidential election. Mr. Nixon’s accusers met both these tests, and he was forced to resign. By contrast, Mr. Clinton’s accusers met the first test but not the second. As the Senate trial began, 79% of Americans thought the president had committed perjury and 53% that he had obstructed justice, but only 4 in 10 believed that either charge warranted Clinton’s removal from office. The Senate vote fell far short on both counts of the indictment, and their target served out the rest of his term as a popular chief executive.
As the impeachment effort against President Trump gets underway, the American people are divided on both these tests, and his accusers must meet a weighty burden of proof. It remains to be seen whether the Democrats’ announced determination to proceed swiftly to impeachment will give the people enough time to assimilate new information and perhaps change their minds.
The article does shed some light on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s interest in moving the inquiry as quickly as possible to its conclusion. She may be trying to save her own job.
Read the whole thing.