James Carville’s Warning to Democrats: Impeachment Could Be Just What Donald Trump Needs to Save His Presidency

The 1998 midterm election delivered an early verdict on Speaker Newt Gingrich’s plan to turn to impeachment after the vote: Democrats gained seats in the House that November, a rarity for the party holding the White House. Weeks after their defeat and days before Christmas, House Republicans went ahead anyway and voted to impeach Bill Clinton on one count of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. Clinton’s poll ratings soared, hitting 73 percent after the House vote. Two months later, in February of 1999, the Republican-controlled Senate failed to garner the two-thirds majority needed to convict. Clinton was vindicated. The partisan witch hunt was over. Therein lies a cautionary tale for Democrats should they begin proceedings to impeach President Donald Trump. Without at least 20 Republicans willing to join them in the Senate to vote to convict, impeachment could be the best thing that happens to a troubled presidency.