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Today’s Impeach-O-Meter: How to Shut Down a Russia Investigation Without Looking Completely Craven About It

California Rep. Adam Schiff at a House hearing on Nov. 1.
California Rep. Adam Schiff at a House hearing on Nov. 1.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Impeach-O-Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative daily estimate of the likelihood that Donald Trump leaves office before his term ends, whether by being impeached (and convicted) or by resigning under threat of same.

As the ranking minority member of the House Intelligence Committee, California Rep. Adam Schiff has been one of the main Democrats putting pressure on the Trump administration over Russia. He tweeted today that he’s worried his chamber’s investigation is in danger of being shut down. Here’s the meat of his reasoning (mmm, reasoning meat):

There’s maybe some pre-emptive concern-trolling going on here; the GOP tactics Schiff describes could simply be an effort to slow down the investigation, not end it completely. Still, the House’s inquiry has always been the weakest of the three Russia probes (the others being Robert Mueller’s and the Senate’s) because its committee is heavily influenced by two Trump-friendly right-wingers, California Rep. Devin “Nevin” Nunes and South Carolina Rep. Trey “Benghazi” Gowdy. It’s not implausible that Nunes and Gowdy might try to wind down House Intel’s work, especially given that the right-wing media-industrial complex is also currently trying to goad Donald Trump into firing Mueller in part by arguing that the special counsel hasn’t proven that his investigation will ever uncover anything of importance. Meanwhile, a late-breaking CNN report about a potential meeting between Mueller and Trump’s lawyers indicates POTUS’ legal team, while taking pains not to attack Mueller personally, is also advancing the argument that Trump himself will not be implicated by anything the special counsel comes up with. In other words, “We did our best to look, but there was nothing to find” might be the GOP’s emerging strategy for shutting down inquiries into Trump–Russia collusion without coming across all obstruction-of-justice-y about it.

The meter today is stable, but wary.

Impeach-O-Meter: 55 percent.
Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo. Photos by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images, Drew Angerer/Getty Images, and Peter Parks-Pool/Getty Images.

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