For what it’s worth, I suspect that more Senate Republicans would oppose conducting an impeachment proceeding at this late stage than would oppose removing the president if there were such a trial. But to repeat the point I was trying to make on Twitter, if impeachment is realistically being contemplated, the president should consider resigning, because there is a good chance he would lose.

Resignation would be better for the country and better for the president — at least if he negotiated favorable terms. A pardon by Pence would be beneficial. Trump would get some peace of mind, but the government would not be making much of a concession: As noted above, the president’s incitement is not a prosecutable federal crime; a pardon would not affect the ongoing state investigation in New York; and while Trump’s more vindictive critics would have him prosecuted for jay-walking if they could, Biden and his attorney general nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, undoubtedly realize that the hounding of the former Republican president by the new Democratic administration — after a partisan slugfest of a campaign and the noxious Obama-Biden legacy of using the Justice Department to investigate political adversaries — would be bad politics and terrible for the country. They will want to move on from Trump, not make him a martyr.

Moreover, it would be much better for the institution of the presidency if Pence pardoned Trump than if Trump pardoned himself.