05:42 - Source: CNN
Watch full video of Nancy Pelosi's impeachment statement

Editor’s Note: Frida Ghitis, a former CNN producer and correspondent, is a world affairs columnist. She is a frequent opinion contributor to CNN, a contributing columnist to the Washington Post and a columnist for World Politics Review. Follow her on Twitter @fridaghitis. The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author. Read more opinion on CNN.

CNN  — 

Every day in the age of Trump feels surreal. Every day we shake our heads and wonder how this can be happening. At last, thanks to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Thursday began as a reasonable day in the age of Trump. Pelosi’s statement to reporters that she was requesting formal articles of impeachment felt authentic, thoughtful, sound. The impeachment document will then be voted on and almost certainly approved by the House, essentially indicting the President. Then, the Republican-controlled Senate will put the President on trial and all but certainly acquit him.

Frida Ghitis

Even after acquittal, and even after what will surely be his insufferable post-trial boasts that he is the greatest President in American history, Pelosi has now likely written the first paragraph of Trump’s eventual obituary: He will become only the third president in US history to be impeached.

With Trump scheduled to attend a NATO gathering in London on the same day Democrats held impeachment hearings, Trump and his backers could only hope the split-screen would help the President. As with Bill Clinton, who declared himself focused like a laser beam on the nation’s business while Republicans impeached him in 1998, Trump might have benefited from looking presidential among other global leaders. But it was not to be.

That’s because Trump can’t help being Trump. And when it mattered most for his own protection, he was unable to keep his London visit from going off the rails, reminding us all of why Democrats have such a difficult choice deciding which of his innumerable transgressions will become part of the articles of impeachment.

His behavior in London on Wednesday, while the House Judiciary Committee discussed his impeachment, was vintage Trump. He started his visit calling the French President “nasty.” He held an unscheduled meeting with the autocratic President of Turkey. At times, you could tell he was trying to suppress his worst instincts. You could see him straining to tone down the insults. He even seemed to defend NATO, the alliance that is vital to American security, which he has lambasted since before taking office. But he couldn’t do it. He left in a huff, canceling a planned conference, microphones and lecterns already on stage, after a videotape of leaders of American allies mocking the President’s conduct went viral on social media. That’s the President: embarrassing, shocking, dangerous. That’s why he will be impeached.

Is that a surprise? No, not to me. The moment Trump was elected, everyone knew his would be a presidency like no other in US history.

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    The real surprise, the true disappointment, is what has happened to the Republican Party – now standing squarely behind a President who stands against just about everything the GOP said it believed until late 2016. Trump has assaulted morality. He has threatened to pull the US out of NATO. He has disparaged democracy, human rights, free speech. He has undercut America’s allies and embraced tyrants and autocrats, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, who before Trump took office invaded a nation friendly to America and seeking to break Moscow’s shackles.

    It’s only just and fair and reasonable that Trump will be impeached. As Pelosi invoked our Founding Fathers, she was right to appeal to history here. But the harshest judgment of history will fall upon Trump’s enablers and his accomplices, who surrendered their principles to defend him, to allow him to stay in office to keep harming America.