US and Ukrainian Presidents, Donald Trump and Volodymyr Zalensky respectively, at their bilateral
meeting in New York, 25 September 2019. Prior to this meeting, on 25 July 2019, Trump
phoned Zalensky asking him to investigate matters related to Hunter Biden,
Joe Biden’s son, who worked at Burisma, Ukraine’s gas company.
By Mary Foran
The US House of Representatives voted on Halloween to spook Trump with a 232 to 196 vote on endorsing the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry and set up a new public phase of the investigation.
The vote was strictly down party lines, with two Democrats joining the Republicans in supporting the President’s stance that he has done nothing wrong, and calling the inquiry an attempted coup and a “Witch Hunt”.
House speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, presided over the vote, declaring that “what is at stake in all of this is nothing less than our democracy.”
Republicans in the House were united in defense of President Trump, describing the inquiry as secretive and unfair.
The investigation centers on whether Mr. Trump abused his presidential powers to pressure the Ukrainian government to lead an investigation into the Ukraine dealings of Joe Biden, his political rival, and Biden’s son Hunter, who was given a position on the board of Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company, for a phenomenal sum. The Democrats contend that Trump held up military aid that had already been authorized by Congress unless the investigations were announced, although the aid was eventually given. They declared it was a “quid pro quo” scenario, which means in layman’s terms a tit-for-tat pressure tactic on a foreign government.
Trump claims the call to the Ukraine was “perfect” and absolutely no quid pro quo was involved or pressure of any kind, which the President of the Ukraine, Volodymyr Zalensky, corroborated.
The resolution adopted by the House outlines the rights and procedures that are to guide the inquiry, including the public presentation of evidence and how the president and his legal team will be able to mount a defense. Democrat Party leaders are aiming to conclude public fact-finding hearings in the Intelligence Committee by around Thanksgiving, Nov. 28th. The Judiciary Committee would then have several weeks to draft and debate articles of impeachment before a possible House vote on impeachment before Christmas, Dec. 25th.
“Trying to put a ribbon on a sham process doesn’t make it any less of a sham,” said Republican Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio. “Democrats are trying to impeach the president because they are scared they cannot defeat him at the ballot box” said Mr. McCarthy.
Nameless, faceless and voiceless, the “Deep State” is the Washington bureaucracy which Trump has said has been against him since his election in 2016, and part of the Washington “swamp” that Trump vowed to drain during his presidential campaign. Complaints have surged from all manner of Washington government officials in the hearings, who Trump calls “Never Trumpers” and are simply biased in their views about his administration.
As the momentum for impeachment increases, Trump insists that he is not guilty of any wrongdoing in office. He touts the robust economy and low unemployment as signs that he is doing what is right for the United States.
Meanwhile, the latest polls show that Joe Biden is still ahead of Elizabeth Warren for the Democrats, and Trump has a very loyal following among the Republicans.
Featured image/Official White House photo — Shealah Craighead, PD
Placard/Charles Edward Miller, CC BY-SA2.0
Trump at the Capitol/Official White House photo – Joyce N. Boghosian, PD
Joe Biden/Michael Stokes-Biden 13, CC BY2.0
Rep. John Lewis/C-Span, PD