Allan Lichtman, a political historian and professor at American University in Washington, D.C., predicted remarkably early on that Donald Trump would win the presidency in 2016.
Now, the professor is offering a new prediction: Trump will be impeached in 2019.
In an interview with the German publication Deutsche Welle, Lichtman pointed to the Democratic takeover of the House and special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation as the basis of his prediction.
"I think it's more likely than not he will get impeached," the American University professor told DW.
After previously predicting 30 years of presidential elections correctly, Lichtman became a media phenomenon when he — against mainstream wisdom — predicted early on that Trump would win in 2016.
Now Lichtman is convinced that as of 2019, and for the remainder of his term, Trump will be engaged in a fight to remain in office — a fight he may well lose.
Once Democrats have the majority in the House, Trump will lose the Republican protection that has so far shielded him from meaningful oversight, investigation or consequences — including an impeachment trial.
Despite Democratic leadership insistence that impeachment is not on their radar at present, public pressure — especially in the face of a potentially damning report from Mueller — could force their hand, Lichtman said.
"If Mueller comes up with some devastating findings, the Democratic base will demand impeachment," said Lichtman. "I think [Trump] is in grave peril from the Mueller probe."
He added that he believes that Mueller will issue more indictments and reveal even more damaging information linking people from Trump's inner circle to Russia, thus proving a conspiracy to rig the election and undermine democracy.
"I can't believe [Mueller] has been working all this time just to say: Sorry, nothing to see here," said Lichtman. "I think there are going to be some very serious findings from Mueller directly tying the Trump campaign to the Russians."
Many political experts believe Trump will not be removed from office even if he is impeached, as a conviction in the Senate would require a two-thirds majority and Republicans would have to turn on a president from their own party.
But Lichtman disagrees and sees conviction as a real possibility, especially as it becomes more clear to Republican lawmakers that Trump could take the entire party down with him.
"The way in which Trump could be impeached and removed would be if Republicans think he is going to drag them down with him," said Lichtman. "They don't have any personal loyalty to Trump. They are worried about antagonizing his base and losing Republican primaries. But if they think he is going to be a political liability, they may be willing to abandon him."