After months of deliberation, the US Democratic Party has moved to subject President Donald Trump to an impeachment inquiry, raising the possibility of booting him from the Oval Office before the 2020 election.
House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the drastic measure this morning, saying “the President must be held accountable.
“No-one is above the law.”
The impeachment inquiry, which will provide a legal pathway for politicians to potentially oust the sitting president, was put into motion over concerns Trump allegedly asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son in July.
Trump admitted making the call to Zelensky this week, but characterised it as “absolutely perfect” and largely about corruption in Ukraine.
To make matters more complicated, the anonymous whistleblower who first raised concerns about the call allegedly stated Trump moved to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid from Ukraine unless the Biden dirt-digging mission was put into place.
Trump promised to release a transcript of the call, but the US Senate today voted – unanimously, might we add – for the White House to turn over the whistleblower’s complaint in full to Senate Intelligence Committee.
As has been drilled into us by the whole Russia thing, a US President asking a foreign power for help to undermine a potential political opponent is insanely illegal, and allowing foreign powers to meddle in another sovereign nation’s election process is generally seen as a faux pas. Fucking around with scheduled military aid as a leverage tactic is not on, either.
“The president has admitted to asking the president of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically,” Pelosi said.
“The action of the Trump, the actions of the Trump presidency revealed the dishonourable fact of the president’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.”
“The President must be held accountable," says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, announcing the start of a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump. "No one is above the law."https://t.co/9CpToCztqz pic.twitter.com/6mYJXxvnAk— CNN (@CNN) September 24, 2019
A successful impeachment is hardly a sure thing, and Democrats will eventually need to convince a two-thirds of the House of Representatives that Trump broke the law in order to kick him out; while US President Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace when faced with impeachment proceedings over the Watergate scandal, President Bill Clinton was acquitted of the charges against him in 1999 and was Prez for another couple of years.
Trump himself has responded to the inquiry in typical Trump style.
PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2019
Strap in, folks.