(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump hasn’t shown any sign of budging as he continues to fight the House impeachment inquiry and refuses to release his tax returns to Congress. But, what would happen if he did? In fact, what if he just up and quit?
As an intellectual exercise, that’s the question Raymond James analysts Chris Meekins and Ed Mills posed in a research report that tried to imagine what the aftermath of a resignation would look like.
“While we acknowledge this is a low probability event; the question we are hearing more often in D.C. is: What if President Trump decides to walk away from the presidency and voluntarily resigns prior to being impeached and/or having to release his tax returns,” Meekins and Mills wrote.
The Raymond James analysts speculate that Trump could quit the presidency before impeachment and before he’s forced to release his tax documents. The president wouldn’t want to go down in history “as one of the only impeached presidents.”
“Trump can go make even more money and maybe start his own media network, which reportedly was the initial plan,” Meekins and Mills wrote.
After a resignation, the analysts see a President Mike Pence making Nikki Haley, the former United Nations ambassador, his vice president and campaigning at the top of the ticket in the 2020 presidential race.
After an initial shock, with Pence campaigning as a “predictable, traditional, conservative choice,” the market would rally — most notably companies related to China trade, pharmaceuticals and defense contractors.
Meekins and Mills stress that Trump leaving voluntarily is remote, seeing him instead as “the rare individual who declares victory in defeat.”
“There is a sense that he is still seeking validation through winning re-election and he strongly believes he has been treated incredibly unfairly by Congressional Democrats and the press,” they said. “He is strong in his belief that he did nothing wrong and resigning early would only validate that criticism.“
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