CLAIM: The liberal media have been talking about the impeachment of President Donald Trump since he was elected in November 2016.
VERDICT: False. They have been talking about it since before he even became the Republican nominee — as early as April 2016.
In late September, as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) decided to push for an impeachment inquiry, the conservative media monitoring website NewsBusters noted that the nation was approaching its “36th straight month of media-driven impeachment talk.” It published a video showing television talking heads discussing impeachment since November 2016.
But the media obsession with impeachment is even older.
In an article published April 17, 2016, titled, “Could Trump Be Impeached Shortly After He Takes Office?“, Politico‘s Darren Samuelson wrote that a Trump presidency could be so disruptive that he “has critics on the right and the left discussing the most extreme of countermeasures at an unusually early point in the race.”
“Impeachment” is already on the lips of pundits, newspaper editorials, constitutional scholars, and even a few members of Congress.
It’s not unusual for controversial presidents to be shadowed by talkof impeachment, once they’ve been in office long enough to make people mad. But before he’s elected? Before he’s a nominee?
Constitutional experts of all political stripes say it’s surprising for impeachment talk to bubble up this early—but then Trump has been throwing around some surprising ideas for a leading candidate … And doubtless many of Trump’s foes would like to see him impeached just on principle—the quickest way to broom out a leader who horrifies the inclusive sensibilities of Democrats, and has blown apart the Republican Party he’s nominally part of.
So impeachment was a first resort for Democrats, NeverTrump Republicans, and journalists from the moment it became clear that candidate Trump had a path to win the GOP nomination — even when few of them believed he could actually defeat likely Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton and win the presidency in November 2016.
NewsBusters’ video covers TV journalists, so it is not inaccurate. But the Beltway media’s obsession with impeachment goes back much further than that.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.