“My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.”

These words were spoken by Gerald Ford just after he was sworn in as President following Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974.

We will soon be able to say the same thing about the presidency of Donald J. Trump.

“Forever Trumpers” will predictably scream bloody murder. So what? They have no one to blame but themselves.

They are responsible for what will be seen as the worst presidency in American history that came close to bringing down American democracy.

The good thing is that we may not even have to wait for Trump to be impeached in the House and convicted in the Senate to see him leave office.

I am convinced he will resign by the end of the year, or certainly within the first three months of the new year. Not because he wants to. Rather, this scandal is growing and will bring the entire Trump world down before it is done.

Think I’m being overly optimistic? Here’s why I think resignation is the most likely outcome.

First of all, Trump is guilty. His own notes of the telephone conversation verify the Whistleblower’s complaint and the Inspector General’s investigation of that complaint that Trump sought foreign help in his reelection plans.

Trump doesn’t believe he said anything wrong on the call with the Ukrainian President, but that doesn’t matter. The law is quite clear. Trump violated campaign laws when he asked the President of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden (read this section of the law for yourself – https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/11/110.20).

Second, the impeachment investigations will provide ample evidence of Trump’s guilt, including that his request to the Ukrainian President to investigate Joe Biden involved a bribe related to US financial support for Ukraine’s military.

Third, the Senate will put Trump on trial. McConnell has already said that will be the case.

Fourth, there are cracks in the wall of support for Trump among Senate Republicans. The fact that McConnell said he would entertain articles of impeachment and Senator Chuck Grassley essentially told Trump to leave the Whistleblower alone are bad signs for Trump.

What is more, as Trump grows more extreme in his attacks on others, the more difficult it will be for Senate Republicans to stand with him. The more he talks, the more guilty he looks, making Republicans who support him appear as if they don’t believe in the rule of law.

Finally, it comes down to this. Senate Republicans know being forced to vote to save Trump is a minefield they don’t want to be forced to wade in. That Mitch McConnell is up for re-election will make him all the more likely to send a delegation behind the scenes to make the case to Trump for resignation.

They will argue three main points:

(1) There is no guarantee he will survive a Senate vote;
(2) Even if he does, being renominated won’t be a cakewalk, given that he already has opposition and the prospect that if he is nominated he will lose by a landslide that will also take down Senate Republicans;
(3) Resignation gives him a chance to control the narrative, blaming Democrats for never giving him a chance to govern and making it impossible for him to continue to serve.

Trump will also be able to say that in spite of what the Democrats have done, he has done more in three years than any president in history has and he has little left to accomplish.

An added bonus for resigning is that ahead of time he can work out a deal with Attorney General William Barr to ensure he will not face federal charges after he leaves office. New York state charges will likely be civil, not criminal.

Frankly, as things stand now, I don’t see any upside to Trump holding on. He is going to be impeached and even if he wins a vote in the Senate, he will lose some Republicans, making him look weak to the point where for all practical purposes he will be a lame-duck President.

So where we are today is that a Trump resignation is highly probable. The only question left is how soon it will happen.

The irony is that where this will end up is not really a surprise. Trump has always been incompetent, a liar, a cheat, and a self-absorbed pretender to greatness.

The real surprise was his election, but I believe as a people we have learned our lesson. Even if anyone can grow up to be president, Trump has proven that not everyone should be.

If Trump did any good at all, it was to convince us that qualifications matter because he is the living example of what happens when a president has none.

All that said, I want to enjoy this moment as things build toward Trump’s end and seeing the day fast approach when as Americans we will all be able to feel the relief that, indeed, our national nightmare is over.