Ramez Naam+ Your Authors @ramez Books: Nexus Series / The Infinite Resource. Faculty @SingularityU. Energy, climate, & innovation wonk. Optimist. Mar. 02, 2019 2 min read + Your Authors

Here is my expectation of what happens with the Mueller report and the future of @realDonaldTrump. Thread. 1/

Mueller will not find sufficiently strong or clear evidence that Trump personally and knowingly conspired with Russia to affect the election.

It's clear members of the Trump staff did. Proving that Trump did (knowingly) is much harder. 2/

Mueller will find strong evidence that Trump did violate campaign finance law. Whether he did so knowingly or not is much harder to prove. 3/

Mueller will probably find obstruction of justice on Trump's part. The evidence of that is out in the open already. 4/

Mueller won't try to indict Trump. He may still indict some other Trump family members like Don Jr. (who might be under sealed indictment already). 5/

Mueller will give his report to Barr. Democrats will ultimately get access to all or almost all of it. If Barr tries to prevent that he only prolongs the pain. 6/

Democrats in the House will ultimately impeach Trump. But it won't happen fast. First they'll have months and months of hearings, keeping this in the news all year. 7/

Trump will be impeached in late 2019, or even early 2020. A solid year of constant distraction and frustration. 8/

The Senate, of course, will not vote to remove Trump from office. No unless there's evidence completely unlike any we've seen. Short of audio recording of Trump conspiring with Putin, it's just not going to happen. 9/

Which means that all of this really comes down to the 2020 election, and how swing voters perceive this. Because the Democratic base is very likely to turn out. And impeachment is going to get the GOP base fired up to protect Trump. 10/

The 2020 election is really Democrats' to lose. Trump is deeply unpopular, and Mueller, hearings, and impeachment are going to keep his crimes front and center through 2020. 11/

That said, Democrats could still screw 2020 up, especially if the nominee is someone who frightens or repels those white suburban and white Midwestern swing voters. 12/

If Dems do win the White House in 2020, good odds we'll see the first criminal prosecution of an ex-president, once Trump is no longer protected by the office. And that will be a healthy thing for American democracy. /fin

You can follow @ramez.


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