Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body levels charges against a government official. Impeachment does not itself remove the official definitively from office; it is similar to an indictment in criminal law, and thus it is essentially the statement of charges against the official. Donald Trump-Impeachment, is an impeachment made by Donald Trump in the US.
An impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump began after U.S. President Donald Trump and other top government officials pressured the leaders of Ukraine and other foreign nations to publicly announce investigations of former U.S. vice president and leading 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter and release alleged evidence that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. The inquiry revolves around a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky implying that U.S. military aid to Ukraine was to be withheld until Zelensky gave in to the aforementioned demands.
These allegations have been corroborated by many witnesses, including U.S. top envoy-to-Ukraine Bill Taylor, Laura Cooper (the top pentagon official overseeing Ukraine-related U.S. policy), former White House official Fiona Hill and at least six additional White House Officials. The report implicates Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani as well as Gordon Sondland, Kurt Volker, Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman, and others -in taking part in a quid pro quo campaign to pressure the Ukranian government to take actions which would be helpful to Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign. Based on the alleged abuse of power of the presidency by Trump to advance his personal political interests, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi initiated the impeachment inquiry on September 24, 2019.
The additional alleged misconduct was reported in the days after the announcement, with Trump subsequently publicly urging Ukraine and China to investigate the Bidens.
A whistleblower’s complaint revealed the phone call was given to Congress on September 25, 2019, and released to the public the next day. The White House corroborated several of the allegations, including that a record of the July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky had been stored in a highly restricted system. A non-verbatim transcript confirms that Trump asked Zelensky to investigate the Bidens and release evidence that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election, and repeatedly urged him to work with Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr on those matters. On October 9, the White House officially responded to the impeachment proceedings in a letter from Counsel Pat Cipollone to Pelosi that it would cease all cooperation with the investigation due to concerns including that there had not been a vote of the full House and that interviews of witnesses were being conducted behind closed doors. A few days later, White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Trump had withheld military aid to Ukraine over its supposed corruption, but that there had been no quid pro quo.
During the depositions, Ambassador Taylor testified that he had been told that U.S. military aid to Ukraine and a Trump-Zelensky White House meeting were dependent on Zelensky publicly announcing investigations into the Bidens and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s Director of European Affairs, testified that he had heard the phone call and that he had shared his concerns about the president’s remarks with a White House lawyer. On October 31, 2019, the house voted 232-196 to establish a procedure for public hearings, which started on November 13. As hearings began, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff asserted that trump may have committed bribery, which is specifically mentioned in the Constitution as an impeachable offense.
Efforts to impeach President Trump have been made by various people and groups, and talk of impeachment began even before Trump took office. Formal efforts were initiated by Representatives Al Green and Brad Sherman, both Democrats (D), in 2017, the first year of his presidency. A December 2017 resolution of impeachment failed in the then Republic led House by a 58-364 vote margin.
Democrats gained control of the House following the 2018 elections and launched multiple investigations into Trump’s actions and finances. On January 17, 2019, new accusations involving Trump surfaced, claiming he instructed his longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie under oath surrounding Trump’s involvement with the Russian government to erect a Trump Tower in Moscow. This also sparked requests for an investigation and for the president to “resign or be impeached” should such claims be substantiated.
Soon after the release of the Muller report, Trump began urging an investigation into the origins of the Russia Probe, wanting to “investigate the investigators” and possibly discredit the conclusions of the FBI and Mueller. In April 2019, Attorney General Barr announced that he had launched a review of the origins of the FBI’s investigation, even though the origins of the probe were already being investigated by the Justice Department’s inspector general and by U.S. attorney John Huber, who had been appointed to the same task in 2018 by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Barr assigned U.S.
In Donald Trump-Impeachment, Attorney John Durham to lead the probe, and Trump directed the American Intelligence community to “promptly provide assistance and information” to Barr, and delegated to him the “full and complete authority” to declassify any related documents. Although Durham was nominally in charge of the investigation, Barr himself began contacting foreign governments to ask for information about the origins of the FBI probe. Barr personally traveled to the United Kingdom and Italy to seek information; Italy’s parliament is expected to begin its own investigation into Barr’s meetings with Italian secret services. At Barr’s request, Trump himself phoned the Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, to ask for assistance.
On the evening of September 24, 2019, Pelosi announced that six committees of the House of Representatives would undertake a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Pelosi accused Trump of betraying his oath of office, U.S. national security, and the integrity of the country’s elections. The six committees charged with the task are the committees on Financial Services, the Judiciary, Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Reform, and Ways and Means.
On the Donald Trump-Impeachment, the transcript of Ambassador Taylor’s deposition was also released on November 6. During his deposition on October 22, he described the campaign, led by Giuliani, to investigate investigations into the Bidens in Ukraine. Taylor said it was his “clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until the President committed to pursuing the investigation”. The following day saw the release of Kent’s testimony transcripts in which he said, “[President Trump] wanted nothing than president Zelensky to go to a microphone and say investigations, Biden and Clinton”.
Following the public release of the transcripts, Trump asserted they had been “doctored” by Schiff and encouraged Republicans to “Put out their own transcripts”.
Donald Trump-Impeachment, On November 6, 2019, Chairman Schiff announced that the first public hearing of the impeachment inquiry would be held on November 13, beginning with Taylor and Kent. The announcement added that Yovanovitch would testify in the second public hearing on November 15. Academic historian Kevin Kruse took issue with Trump’s assertion that the Democrats would be solely responsible if he were removed from office through the impeachment process. Kruse said that for the U.S. Senate to remove Trump from office, 20 Republicans would need to join the 45 democrats and two independents, and blaming only the Democrats was both “dangerous” and “dumb”.
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