A gathering storm

Exciting developments Stateside, where earlier today erstwhile Trump fixer Michael Cohen stood up in a Federal courtroom to admit to conspiring with an unidentified “candidate” to break campaign finance law. Unless the person referred to turns out to be someone other than Donald Trump, which seems unlikely to say the least, it would appear that the President may be in a bit of legal bother.

Should this turn of events make me reconsider my position that Trump is safe from impeachment, in the immediate future at least? I’m not sure. It’s certainly a potential problem for him, but I can’t see that it really changes the political arithmetic ahead of the November elections to a significant degree. If anything the Cohen plea-deal just plays into the paranoid narrative about a Deep State plot against Trump that his core support want to believe.

That said, Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight is giving the Democrats a 75% chance of taking control of the House after the mid-term elections, which suggests that Trump might just be becoming an electoral liability for the GOP. Whether this would be enough to convince the Republican establishment to get on board an impeachment drive is another question. There is more to political power than election results, and having Trump in the White House, even damaged, is still an asset that can’t be given up lightly.

Trump will be unsettled by all this though, and the odds on him doing something completely irrational, even by his standards, must have shortened considerably. The next few weeks could be very interesting.