After two years as President of the United States, Donald Trump now finds himself in a most precarious situation.
If he stands by his threat, the federal government will shut down at the end of this week. This means that no funds may be released for the continued operations of the federal government. Unless Mr. Trump backs down, this will be a very bleak Christmas for millions of Americans who depend on the take home pay of the federal government employees and their families.
All this because the president insists on erecting a wall along the US-Mexico border that few really want and which the country may not truly need.
At this stage in his presidency, the president should take stock of where he is and where he wants to go. From the looks of things, he has very few viable options in front of him.
In a matter of weeks, the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives. Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi will almost certainly approve of a number of investigations to be conducted by various House committees on the workings of the Trump administration.
This, on top of the current ongoing Justice department investigations on various Trump organizations, any one of which could potentially unveil illegal activity done by the president’s closest associates, including members of his family.
Then there is the Mueller investigation on collusion with the Russians. This has to be the mother of all probes being done on the Trump network, and it is one that could end up as the president’s Watergate.
It is no secret that Mr. Trump will be seeking re-election two years from now. That is his right, of course. And there seems to be no Republican leader of note willing to challenge him.
But first, he must survive the next two years. A few months ago, the possibility of impeachment proceedings against the sitting president seemed unlikely. Not anymore.
It is an understatement to say that the past few weeks have not been kind to the president. For one, a good number of his former allies have turned against him.
Reports from inside the White House say that he has been flustered, disturbed and angry at every revelation that threatens to bring down his presidency, and there are many.
Trusted associates who have become willing witnesses against him threaten to reveal secrets that may cause his popularity to shrink further.
One poll taken this week indicated that more than 60 percent of Americans believe he has not been telling the truth about his Russia ties. If the Mueller investigation reveals what many now suspect will be unearthed – that the Trump camp willingly worked with Russians to influence the 2016 elections – then impeachment becomes a very real possibility.
The only other option he will have is to resign.
It is not clear at this stage if the Trump presidency can still be saved. A lot will count on what happens in the next few days and weeks. Mr. Trump may believe otherwise, but shutting down the government will not help him in any way.