Impeached for a second time by the House of Representatives, the walls are closing in on the 45th President of the United States, Donald John Trump.
White House insiders are painting a picture of a livid Trump, angry that even some of his most loyal supporters are deserting him in the aftermath of the January 6 attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that he is charged with inciting.
And, there is a report that Trump even considered resigning, in Richard Nixon style, but decided against that because he doesn't trust his heretofore most loyal lapdog, Vice President Mike Pence, to pardon him. Pence apparently believes Trump double-crossed him by fomenting the insurrection, during which rioters chanted "Hang Mike Pence," and even erected a gallows on the Capitol Hill grounds, complete with a noose hanging from the crossbeam.
“Pence is done with Trump’s bulls--t,” said a former Pence adviser, according to Politico. “He’s not going to give a prime time speech saying, ‘F you Donald Trump,’ but in his own way he is going to just get to the finish line and keep his head down.”
The single article in the impeachment resolution that was approved by the House of Representatives January 13 is devastating. Approved by every House Democrat and 10 Republicans, including some of his most loyal GOP supporters (until now), the article charges Trump with "incitement of insurrection" of the very government that he swore to defend against all enemies, foreign or domestic.
The result was a violent invasion of the Capitol that resulted in the death of two police officers and others, including one female veteran who was part of the siege and shot by police.
When the impeachment vote was taken in the House, the10 Republicans who deserted Trump were fed up with his encouragement of the riot that threatened their very lives and the lives of their staff members.
While those 10 Republicans represent just a fraction of House Republicans, their transformation could help encourage additional support by enough Senate Republicans to convict Trump and prevent him from ever seeking federal office again.
Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) was one of those 10 who voted to impeach. As the violence raged at the Capitol January 6, he could not believe that Trump failed to act to calm the crowd and call off the violence.
“Where is the president!?” he asked. “He must ask people to disperse and restore calm now.”
And then, just a week later when the roll was called in the House, Rice voted to impeach Trump. He had had enough.
“I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years,” he wrote in a statement that was distributed via social media. “I campaigned for him and voted for him twice. But, this utter failure is inexcusable.”
Now, as impeachment turns to a Senate trial, there are signs of significant slippage in Trump support there, with Republican leader Mitch McConnell (KY) indicating he may actually vote for impeachment. If he does, the dam could break and Trump would be convicted, losing his guaranteed pension, his $1 million per year travel allowance, and in a likely followup vote, his right to ever hold public office again.
Trump has become a pariah. He has been banned by social media and is forced to make videos to get his message out. However, he no longer can use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube to do so. Ironically, Trump must rely on the mainstream news media, which he has spent more than four years denigrating, to deliver those messages to the American people.
His lenders and contributors are deserting him. The PGA has pulled its prestige golf tournament from Trump's Bedminster, NJ golf club. His chances of hosting the British Open at Turnberry are reportedly gone. His brand grows dirtier by the day. Even residents of Palm Beach, FL don't want the Trump's as neighbors at their palace by the sea, Mar-a-Lago. And, both state and federal criminal charges await.
But there is someplace that Trump can turn for solace. It's the millions of Americans who continue to believe, who are willing to support him no matter what. Trump reportedly was transfixed at the live television footage as they attacked the Capitol, and no doubt revels in the fact that many who were not there still have his back.
There are the Christian-right fanatics who believe God placed Trump in the presidency and that He will perform a miracle to keep him there.
There are the 78 percent of Republican voters who the day after the riot in Washington said in a poll that they still support him.
There is the gun-toting QAnon congresswoman who live-tweeted Nancy Pelosi's location to rioters during the Capitol siege.
There are the white supremacists who were a core component of the mob and still have Trump's back -- because he's had theirs during his entire presidency.
And then, there are the everyday Trump supporters who love what he says, how he acts, and even identify with his core failings.
Here is what one said in an email yesterday:
After what had transpired, I hate your politcal party. Your party stands for only one thing. TOTAL DESTRUCTION. Yes I am a republican Trump supporter, and dam case proud of it. I am going to do anything I can to get this incomming dictator Biden -Harris impeached. He shop lifted the election. And there is all kinds of evidence to prove, the election was hi-jacked.
Clearly for him and people like him, it is not over, and Biden's goal of helping to reduce tensions and bring unity will be a difficult hill to climb.
But for Donald Trump?
The walls are closing in.