President Trump Faces Two Impeachment Articles
- Democrats accuse President Trump of ignoring and injuring the national interest
- White House to address charges at Senate trial
- Senate may forego a full trial
As of Tuesday, President Donald Trump faces impeachment charges as Democrats formally accuse him of abuse of power and obstruction of justice. Considering that the US House of Representatives has a Democrat majority, it’s likely the vote to impeach will pass.
The charges accuse Trump of abusing his power by attempting to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political rival. Trump then allegedly obstructed the investigation of Congress into the matter.
Jerrod Nadler, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, explained that the Democrats had to act. Trump put national security in jeopardy, endangered the constitution, and undermined next year’s election, according to Nadler.
In response, Stephanie Grisham, White House spokeswoman, stated the Democrats were trying to undo Trump’s 2016 victory. She called the move “baseless and partisan.” President Trump called it a “WITCH HUNT!” on Twitter.
The White House will wait to address charges
The White House stated that President Trump would wait until the Senate trial to address the charges. Stephanie Grisham explained in a statement that: “The President will address these false charges in the Senate and expects to be fully exonerated because he did nothing wrong.”
The statement didn’t explain how Trump would deal with the charges. In a Fox News interview, Grisham stated she didn’t know if the president would testify. She did say she was certain the White House would participate in some way, at least with their counsel. She also said they would be calling witnesses, whom she hoped would participate.
It should be noted that these charges are the conclusion of hearings and investigations spanning weeks. However, Trump has repeatedly stated that the whole process was one-sided. He claimed he wasn’t provided a chance to tell his side of the story.
According to Reuters, though, the White House has repeatedly refused to provide documents or to allow senior officials to offer testimony.
Trump is the 4th US president to face impeachment
These charges make President Donald Trump only the 4th US president in history to face impeachment. The Senate acquitted Democratic Presidents Clinton and Johnson in 1998 and 1868, respectively. Republican President Nixon resigned before he could be officially impeached in 1974.
The inquiry started at the end of September on the back of a complaint about a phone call between US President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Allegedly, Trump solicited assistance from Zelenskiy to probe former Vice President Joe Biden. Some consider the latter to be a strong contender to eventually run against Trump as the Democratic Presidential candidate.
The White House released a memo summarizing the call, which prompted Republicans to point out that Trump did nothing wrong. They also stated that there was no proof that he used anything to ask for a favor from Ukraine.
At a press conference with President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Zelenskiy, the latter stated he hadn’t been pressured into anything.
Initially, some Democrats didn’t want to impeach Trump over concerns that voters wouldn’t respond kindly in the 2020 elections.
According to a poll by Reuters/Ipsos, 42 percent of Americans are against impeachment, while 44 percent support it.
President Trump unlikely to be convicted
The Democrats would need a Senate majority for President Trump to be convicted. The Senate has a Republican majority, though. Thus, the Democrats would need 20 Republican votes to convict. This is unlikely to happen.
Trump has asked for a full trial, which would involve witness testimony, including from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and others. He has stated that if his political adversaries testified before the Senate, he would be vindicated. It would also damage the people who tried to impeach him.
Mitch McConnel, the Senate Majority Leader, stated that they may go with a quicker trial. This way, lawmakers wouldn’t spend weeks on a trial and could return to regular business faster. The Senate would have to vote on which approach to take.
The House Judiciary Committee will start debating the charges today at 7 PM (midnight GMT), with approval expected tomorrow.