Political historian predicts Trump will be impeached

Political historian Allan Lichtman of American University predicts Trump's impeachment in his first term.
26:25 | 05/01/17

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Transcript for Political historian predicts Trump will be impeached
I'm ABC's Ireland signed thanks for joining us on ABC news digital and FaceBook we American universities university today to talk a little bit. About politics there are plenty of predictions during the 2016 campaign but not many people got it right but today we are joined by one of those who dead he's known as the prediction professor Allan Lichtman is a professor here. At American university and we're if I'm not only about his last prediction also an upcoming production. He's made but to start with the prediction from last year how exactly did he get it right when so many people. First of all I didn't look at polls I knew it the pundits and I didn't follow the day to day events of the campaign which ultimately count for nothing. I kept my eye on the big picture. Using my forecasting system. That's been right since 1984. The keys to the White House and they gauge the strength and performance of the party holding the White House the basic nineties. We'll the American people give the White House party and other terror and I was able to discern the vulnerabilities. Of the incumbent. Democrats think that the pasting in the mid term elections they had a surprisingly contentious nomination struggle it was an open seat Obama couldn't run again. They had these pesky third party candidates running way over there the Obama administration didn't follow the Affordable Care Act. With a comparable domestic triumph in the second term or the dispatch of bin Laden in the first term with a comparable foreign policy triumph. In the second there. Ever wary of Iran but I was always worried that I was going to get it wrong because and Donald Trump. You had a precedent shattering candidate and so we had to forces' competing. In 2060. Before us history as measured by the keys to the White House and the force of Donald Trump and the fourth of history prevail. Now you became quite same as after you made this prediction that's as people at one point and believe you know when it actually happened is notified he got it right it again for the third decade but you. We have a copy of a letter that president trump actually sense to you afterwards congratulating you on your prediction. You know he is the only candidate ever to predicting for over thirty years. Why predicted would win who actually reached out to me I don't trump is a great showman you know this is what he's really good like you know a lot of credit. Yes you'll see here at professor congrats and good calls he was happy about his prediction here but there is another prediction that you're making. That the president may not be as amenable to in its you're making that case here in your new book the case for impeachment. So tell us about what for rot you two to this latest. Actually made the prediction that Donald Trump faced impeachment. At the time I called his wit. Now this book is not punditry. Its not political I don't quote any democratic critics of Donald throw. Rather it is the people's guy to impeachment in examines the history of impeachment process. Donald trumps history prior to the presidency. And the first couple of months of his administration. It's directed towards the people because impeachment. Well only come if the people demand that if they come to realize that the president threatens our constitution our liberties and our national security. And I was able to come up with through this deep study of history. Not a formal model like calling the presidency. Eight. Grounds that it made Donald Trump the most vulnerable first term president ever impeachment. Yeah. Or. Action ward entered. As possible. And the Russian soul. 000. Oh. Oh. Oh. And he. Ought oh. And the administration. Has been much like. Does he caught all. Russians now. What. Actions. Election. On. And I. Experts and are now on won its new scene that meet meet current grounds for eight. Things. Number one conflicts. Chapter in the book which I call. The way Donald Trump couldn't wait impeachment recommendation one. Is investors sell mobile business and that got his kids are running his business but he still profits. From every venture abroad. And at home in this something in the constitution. Called the among humans clause which had a president who can't get anything you from a foreign government. Agents were there. Doesn't require a quid pro Bono ready. We've seen Donald Trump crashing into the monuments clause for example he got. While president final approval for 38 potentially. Lucrative trademarks in. Another area is abuse of power against something very nixonian means seeing that in his defense of the first travel. He's attacked the press wage war in the press. Promised Jeffers said. Given a choice between free press and free government free press we saw. In demeaning judiciary questioning the separation. Clearing out salute residential. It was a vary so. Third thing is the most energy. And people might not have bought us. And that he's his policies. On catastrophic climate change which could be characterized as a crime against Matt. In 2009. Donald Trump signed a letter to president Obama's get this. The science is in reputable. Reputable. That is unless we take strong action on climate change the consequences. Humanity a going to be catastrophic. What's changed in seven plus years sciences stronger threatens more immediate. Matters. He gets changes Donald Trump decided. That to be politically successful among Republicans. He had to join the ranks of the new hires and as we've seen here not only halted progress in fighting climate change. He's thrown into reverse and just recently. The international criminal court that's. What our priorities. Is crimes against the in arm. Which of course would include catastrophic. Which could be characterized as a crime against him that affects all of us on the. Now any impeachment proceedings will have to start in the house and they are Democrats who are eager to find reasons impeachment but the house is still controlled by Republicans do you see if the house doesn't flip over two democratic controlled when he team do you see a possibility that Republicans quoted pursuit and what what would have to take things for his own party that is to seek this. Glickman rules of politics. Is that Paul office holders their first priority is survival every member of the US house is up. In 2018. And it they believe that Donald Trump has become a liability. To their survival they could well turn against. And it would only take as I point out in the case for impeachment some two dozen Republicans. To join with the Democrats to get a house majority. That's only 10%. Of Republicans in the house they also prefer to have the predictable. Outlook pipe conservative that they know Mike Pence as president as opposed to the unpredictable loose cannon Donald Trump who so far. Has not been very successful policy in dealing with congress. And and we haven't seen all of his legislative priorities well come through as you mentioned. But you learn from. Previous impeachment there's only been two presidents who have successfully impeach Johnson and Clinton Nixon may have been impeached he would have been. He had not resigned but look at those situations teach us about any future and defense whether it's all out war some. I think there are some so really meaningless first big lesson is impeachment doesn't require. A specific indictable crime. The framers explicitly put impeachment. In the hands of the people's representatives of the congress not the judiciary so it's a combined. Legal moral. And political judgment. Secondly. Impeachment. Me not hurt the country or hurt the president's. Andrew Johnson was impeached in large measure because he was obstructing the monumental process of reconstruction. Of integrating newly freed slaves into American why he was impeached but he wasn't convicted by the senate. And the chest Heisman over impeachment called moderate. His policies and actually speed up. Reconstruction. Richard Nixon resigned. Facing certain impeachment and according to members of his own party conviction in the senate and that was good for the country. Because it removed a president who was a threat to our constitution. To our political system that causes political dirty tricks and it was corrupting. Agencies. Of our government. And the impeachment of Bill Clinton certainly didn't weaken. The presidency in many ways the presidency emerge stronger than ever some would say too strong under Jewish I quote. The late great historian office please unions at the genius of impeachment is that it targets the man not the office. Now. FBI. Is for passer that here. Well they're very different and trump has really start up. The waters of our politics far more than most previous. Presidents have done and his approval rating is that in this Oracle owns more than twenty points below where Rocco bombers was. As he approached the end of he is 100 days he's also very polarizing. He has. Still stored support from his base but very little support. Outside. His base and the other thing that I think you need to judge a hundred days buys up. Points on the board doesn't matter it has the president done things that are good for the country. And many Americans the great majority believe it was a very good thing that that health care bill didn't pass. It only had 17%. Support it not 21 million people off the rolls and of course it would have given a huge tax cut for the rich. And of course his policies. On the environment. And climate change a very dangerous for the country or we saw tens of thousands of people demonstrating against just recently. They removed it. I can change from the website of the and we learn. Polk Brothers spent millions of dollars trying to get the climate change and tires got through it approved as director. And there are a lot of unfinished things do in the trunk personal days like the travel ban them and out stop. In the courts. Crane with climate change you know now there's talk that some of some members of his administration's wanted to go ahead and stay a part of the parent I appears climate. Agreement. While others still want him doesn't have allowed that. If he's throwing into reverse all our policies on climate change. Pumping up. Fossil fuels which put these terrible greenhouse emissions and air. Cutting down and regulation stopping the curbing of methane gas which actually. Is many times worse than carbon dioxide. In creating climate change even dipping now at least days into the Paris agreements. His Hollis these violate everything that Paris fans of course climate change worldwide issue. But the United States apps to be a leader here and salt foreigners Donald Trump we're heading in the wrong direction and almost. Every scientist would agreement that including Donald Trump would agree with that of Donald Trump of seven plus years ago he'd be the first one. If he wasn't president and someone else was adopting these policies to say this is wrong even that might have to consider impeachment. Now as the prediction professor you have your prediction that he would win the election he had your new prediction that he will get impeached. What is your next prediction didn't cut me in the house again. Could you potentially protect whether hill we in the twenties went race. I have sometimes predicted elections. Three years well that now I can't guarantee that because it depends upon how the keys to the White House. Fallout but it shouldn't necessarily all that long this lasts what was the toughest call ever had to make you wait until September. And late lies previously. I had predicted Barack Obama's reelection it was a very tough election call Romney was leading in the polls. We've just you know short time to go to the election I call that imprint. In 2010. Nap. I've also been asked by various gamblers. My prediction method. To predict sports events or horse races I decline. Your children or stay in politics. And it venture out into other productions I don't wanna wind up with cement over shoes in the Potomac. The house and the senate when it locker prediction on what. Actually. He's the senate now about 85 to 90% right. The problem was guess what everybody focused on the 10% and I was wrong and this was a single set cookies all fifty states. Many to many house elections to use a methodology like he's White House. But do you think this team that. Every all our news. Flip the senate Democrats but Democrats are defending so many more seats and defending and bankruptcies in rated territory had no. We saw in Kansas secret Kansas a district one by Donald Trump by that point the Republican. Just to hang on but seven point so. Nothing is. You know traditional in the era of Donald Trump all precedents are being broke it. And that of course makes my task as a forecast a very difficult but I'm very confident. About what I wrote in the case for impeachment and remember also have a chapter. On the way out which explains. Can avoid all this if he just listens to me a second time. We'll see if you lessons yet will be keeping a close eye on these predictions you made. Again that this is the prediction professor Allan Lichtman here at American university and his new book the keys for impeachment which is back prediction. About present a teacher and now kind of Segway are just locking ever called you professor. Rick have a chat with some of the students here at American university and see what they thing. About the first hundred days. An office where in date when two at this time I go around. Really quickly so they can introduce the results we'll start with you take. My name is Jake actress. And I'm in philosophy here at American university. And her senior and senior minute yeah and that program. Oh. And oh. Oh. And just so. Our viewers at home them at your political leanings are which. Candidates for Elizabeth wearing. An idea of what they might think about the first hundred days does ops are out what's happened. I feel it's transformed today camp this high net as a teaching assistant at noticed that my students are much more area in the age weighted my new policy. And I think that can make initially following the election and has died down a little bag as he continued to. Slug through this administration and has since changed things up in terms of students attracted politics and each other. There's been change in what we see as normal bombs Donald Trump is not traditional Republican by any means but. In the classroom sometimes is referred to as they just another Republican ideas George Bush was but in this case we have an assault. And our democracy that I don't think we've seen in modern times with his undermining the courts and dubbing the press the enemy of the people. Going after judges themselves and trying to wreck this wall is certainly not an America were familiar with so it's taking a lot of us time to. Readjusted I reality and understand that this isn't how weird we receive the future of our country. Because we are very liberal here a lot. A lot of the debates going on and on campus are kind represented the grade it's going on in the Democratic Party so a lot of the arguments in class and represents them arguments that we had during the impact primary in. Continuing to divide the Democratic Party. And I feel like there is there's a lack of unity you can see in some policy debates that happening between. Liberals and leftists and I feel like unless we managed to united and some kind of land and we won't actually be able to accomplish anything with. He power that we don't currently. You. So how ill. Actually were in our our work with professor. In in his. And what did you think when he made his prediction that Donald Trump was going to the presidency did you think maybe it was going to be around for once. I am I really really scared. And he can. I that it prediction. So I'll touch on something that Jamie what was talking about how this is there's a big debate and the democratic. State than ever. Is heading in where do you want to. And I would say that you know it's May Day today and overseeing his. Number of workers strikes on it and protest on the across the road but it in America directed towards term. Very specifically and so. You can see this re emphasis on workers in America and hopefully the Democratic Party will be able to pick up on that. But the notion of identity identity politics in the Democratic Party and abandoning. On the social justice and they've been. Working with a little bit more recently I don't think we can abandon that either so we have to. If with a focus on what everyone's from the white working class but we also have to. Remain active in social justice efforts that we've started. Kind of dancing area I'm seeing a lot of ideological purity test happening in the Democratic Party right now also people. Ten to fight over what issues we really should rally around because they're different opinions coming from leftists and liberals. And like I said earlier I must we managed to unite than we are going to be able to actually act on those forms that we would like to see it come to fruition. So I think it's typical. Right now when we have a Senate Minority Leader in Chuck Schumer who is largely. Beholden to you Wall Street interest. Now he might be a good parliamentarian and the skilled. Order but he definitely isn't the face of the party that many working class people like to see I think. He is a representation and the party as a whole as their presentation of problems that. Trump voters have with the Democratic Party feeling forgotten as certainly a valid issue. A valid concern. Ahmanson Democrats haven't necessarily done a good job of us waging those those anxieties. I should ask this before but where are all of you for a. From injures injured it's. And from an island and Massachusetts knew. Of it missing. And Hanks unearthing it's not let's latency prisoner. When you don't act and topped his people is being not agree with you. I do have some members of my aunt who I even don't agree with politically and one thing that really frightens me some of them may have it for trump. And many of them don't see it after the percentage is a change and the way they would've I think recent Washington Post. Holes at 96% of translators. What is still voted for him after the first hundred days and I think that that's pretty representative of Pennsylvania's well especially. And so. Were also writing and to this phenomenon in the Democratic Party. We're don't really was in and in the past years at ninety. While other guys like this John into news story. I'm on the big Elizabeth Warren fan but I also think there's such an issue with trying to predict who should be president right now because we've really got to stay focused on what's happening. In the White House instead of who the successors going to be on CNN like. Always the day after the elections like who's next and it's really. Distracting I think. I could not agree more and I also think that we need to focus less on the presidential races are focusing more on the ballot. But if I did that do if I didn't have to propose someone I would say Jason Kantor who actually lost his recent raids but I think that. He really pushed a lot of progress ideals and a red state and did that successfully that an arts that we did. See it transforming into broader than opening it like it's we're right as if they're seeing. Or it wasn't hard before assuming it is not. I'm anyone in particular I would let the surprise there ally older faces right now in the Democratic Party needs. Fresh young lives and the elections try and if anything has created that someone from many occurred ash and I'd become president. At lake Jeanine said I think it's important to is on 2018 as the next election eve and it's some governors races TO. And unfunny funny is along when you and there's lots of time for surprises. And. Yet definitely have to focus on the state houses and and in addition to the house and the senate. But you know I'm from New Jersey my ads are I was on Cory Booker. But I'm also looking at Keith Ellison I think year. Good man is. Prince that. Gap between you know problems of the working class and and social justice issues that there. Our experts. It. I. You've. It. Oh. I think that he's been successful. Nine away I would measured by success but in a more insidious way of kind of shifting. Our. Rhetoric to such a low standard that the bar is so low that you can basically like when he did his. Kind of mock State of the Union Address all he did was stand there and read a speech in a calm voice announced praised by everyone in the media as such as success. And it was because he read a script. And he sounded like a normal guy. And that. Is because he set the bar so low and as a result. His victories. Can be more common and basic then someone slightly as well O. It's actually depends how you define success. If the cousins pretty deep question. And I I can't think of anything at the top and I had it's been really successful and I think that that is saying a lot can saying technically he is signs more pieces of legislation and then presidents in. Recent history but nothing vague and it's great that we haven't but or child care wedded Akon wealth care. I would say that though White House opening of the great commission is really important and this is an issue that a lot of Americans really care about. Where it's going to go remains a mystery I hope it's handled well and I hope it's executed well. But this is an administration that openly embraces all turned it back so I really don't have confidence. So much guy expert out that's for wild president of the first. Andrea Day use and I'm sure that this debate will continue. They're tied your neighbors yes as south. Thank you again for joining us an ABC news is that signs. Thanks for watching money he needs digital and FaceBook and will see an end.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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