There is widespread agreement that Donald Trump will survive the impeachment begun in America’s House of Representatives – in that the Republican dominated Senate which is try him, will reject the charges. But opinions about what happens next vary wildly.

The Daily Telegraph

Ben Riley-Smith in Washington describes how the process began at the House of Representatives: “Democrats and Republicans... took it in turns to outline opposing narratives of Mr Trump’s behaviour. The only consistent was the US Constitution. Either Mr Trump had betrayed America’s founding document and must be removed – or it was the Democrats who were riding roughshod over the country’s origins.”

The President himself was absent, yet made himself felt as only he can, on social media. “As politicians discussed his fate on Capitol Hill, he fired off tweets from the White House, bombarding followers with a slew of supportive quotes from allies, and missives about the process.”

House speaker Nancy Pelosi, in “funereal black’ launched the impeachment process soberly: “Grasping her hands together on the podium, she laid out her argument in an even tone, expressing sadness.”

But while Democrats applauded, only a few Republicans turned up, underlining for Riley-Smith the deep divisions in US politics. “One moment of history, one America, but two political tribes who have never looked so far apart, both in the House and in the country beyond.”

The Daily Mail

Justin Webb recalls the impeachment of Bill Clinton and the subsequent decision by the senate to clear him. Despite the fact the Monica Lewinsky affair had already been extensively played out in public, Clinton’s poll ratings were huge, he says, with 73 per cent saying they viewed him favourably.

“The impeachment of Clinton damaged the Republicans... He left office popular and the Republicans suffered. Will it be the same for Trump? I suspect it will”. Actually getting rid of Trump at this point might do more harm than good to his opponents, Webb says. “Democrats would much prefer to get the process over – to lose in the Senate... and then try to beat him in an election.”

That said, backing Trump in these proceedings could come back to haunt senior Republicans if he does something “ghastly” in the future, Webb adds.

It is folly to make predictions, he concludes: “What we know is that Donald Trump loves a fight... and the Democrats had better have some good moves once the impeachment fizzles out.

“He will come for them. And one prediction we can make with certainty: it aint going to be pretty.”

The Guardian

The president’s retribution is a theme picked up by David Smith, who warns: “Impeachment naturally gives satisfaction to the president’s critics, like seeing a bully get a bloody nose. But it is now far from certain the bullying will stop or that Trump will even suffer for it.”

One Georgia congressman complained that even Pontius Pilate had let Jesus have his say – implying, falsely, that Mr Trump has been denied the opportunity to put his case to the House.

“In short, like the Beatles, Trump is now bigger than Jesus in the eyes of his cultlike fanbase. For them, what does not kill him makes him stronger. This is why the consequences of Wednesday are harder to discern.

“As for Trump, his letter made clear that he will be wounded, seething and hellbent on revenge.”

The Financial Times

Given the consensus that Mr Trump will survive to bid for a second term, Edward Luce considers who, for the Democrats, might take him on. The party is waiting for a messiah and “the radar is troublingly faint,” he says.

Popular in the party, Elizabeth Warren may not have a broad enough appeal he says, recalling Adlai Stevenson’s wry response to being told he had the support of every thinking American: “Yes, but I need a majority.”

Questioning the prospects of other potential runners such as Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, he says: “The lack of an obvious winner would matter less if Mr Trump’s base had started to crumble, or if the US economy were heading into recession. Neither is yet apparent.

“Most presidents win second terms,” he adds. “In order to stop that, Democrats need a champion.”

Otherwise, Luce says: “What started with a bang risks ending in a whimper.”