Kyla W., journalist
As a generation that is keen on keeping up with news media, you have likely heard the reports regarding President Donald Trump’s formal impeachment inquiry by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The inquiry itself was made after a whistleblower accusation against Donald Trump surfaced and set in motion the following events. In relation to the upcoming 2020 United States presidential election, President Trump was found suspect to interfering with his political rival, Joe Biden’s campaign. Considering Trump’s ongoing relationship with the Ukranian government, here is everything we know regarding his potential impeachment.
While the president’s contact with Ukraine can be traced back to 2016, a more recent point to begin with, regarding Trump’s dealings, is June 25, 2019. Upon this day, the president was noted for having a half-hour phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It was implied that during the phone call, Trump attempted to coerce Zelensky into commencing an open investigation against political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who is noted for having previous business connections in Ukraine to the company Burisma Holdings. Donald Trump’s attempt to alter the state of the election with outside government forces demonstrated a massive misuse of authority on his part.
On September 24, 2019, Nancy Pelosi delivered an official impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump in light of his conduct with Ukraine. During her address, she expressed, “The President must be held accountable. No one is above the law.” Then, on September 25, the following day, a five-page synopsis regarding Trump’s incredulous phone conversation with the Ukranian president was released. The transcribed conversation further proved Donald Trump’s intentions as he was even infamously recorded, saying, “I would like for you to do us a favor.” Again, the next day, the original whistleblower complaint was released. The unnamed source communicated their uneasiness and distress when evaluating how the president has made use of his authority in hopes to aid himself in personal affairs.
In addition to such events, criminalizing text conversations between officials Kurt Volker, Gordon Sondland, Bill Taylor, Rudy Giuliani (Trump’s attorney), and Andrey Yermak surfaced on October 3, 2019. The texts shed light upon the notion of Donald Trump’s unlawful request that Joe Biden was to be investigated. A message from Bill Taylor, dated September 9, 2019, said, “As I stated on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.” The message was quickly responded to by Sondland, who urged that the two should cease from texting each other concerning the given information.
Trump’s Process of Impeachment:
Similarly to previous United States presidents, such as Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, who were impeached from office, Donald Trump’s case will follow similar proceedings regarding his government position.
Before any suits can be filed against the president, the House Judiciary Committee must carefully inspect evidence of the situation then hold a meeting where they will vote upon the grounds of impeachment. If there is a majority vote opposing the president, the judiciary will then compose charges against the president and vote upon them during a Full House gathering. For the allegations against Trump to be approved, 218 of the 435 seats in the House would have to vote in favor of the accusations. Once passed, President Trump will be held on trial by the Senate. In the United States, the president may only be convicted if there is a two-thirds majority vote from the seats in the Senate. In regard to President Trump, a conviction would call for 67 of the 100 senators to vote towards impeachment, which would also mean 20 of those senators would have to be republican. If Donald Trump were successfully removed from office, Vice President Mike Pence would likely rise to the position following the suit.
Janowski, Elizabeth. “Timeline: Trump Impeachment Inquiry.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 16 Oct. 2019, http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/timeline-trump-impeachment-inquiry-n1066691.
Keith, Tamara. “Trump, Ukraine And The Path To The Impeachment Inquiry: A Timeline.” NPR, NPR, 12 Oct. 2019, http://www.npr.org/2019/10/12/768935251/trump-ukraine-and-the-path-to-the-impeachment-inquiry-a-timeline.
News, NBC. “Transcript: Nancy Pelosi’s Public and Private Remarks on Trump Impeachment.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 25 Sept. 2019, http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/transcript-nancy-pelosi-s-speech-trump-impeachment-n1058351.
Prokop, Andrew. “The Incredibly Damning Ukraine Texts from State Department Officials, Explained.” Vox, Vox, 4 Oct. 2019, http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/10/4/20898215/trump-text-messages-ukraine-impeachment.
Reporters, Telegraph. “What Is Impeachment and How Long Does the Process Take?” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 19 May, 2017, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/impeachment-long-does-process-take/.