The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives in the United States will launch a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
The announcement was made by Speaker Nancy Pelosi came after reports emerged that the President sought foreign help to smear a political opponent who is currently the front-runner to face him in next year’s Presidential election.
The announcement came after a growing number of Democrats called for impeachment proceedings to begin after facing months of stonewalling of Congressional investigations into the President and his administration’s actions.
On a day the President addressed the United Nations in New York, a political storm was brewing in Washington; one that threatens to divide the country over a President said Nancy Pelosi.
“This week, the president has admitted to asking the president of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically. 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. Therefore today, I’m announcing the House of Representatives moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. I’m directing our six committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry. The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.”
The issue to break the political levy is a call President Trump made to the President of Ukraine in July in which he allegedly pressed for investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter; the latter who had business dealings in the country. The matter came to light after an intelligence official turned whistle-blower informed the inspector general about the call, then escalating it to the acting Director of National Intelligence – a Trump appointee – who refused to transmit the complaint to Congress as required by law.
The Intelligence Community’s Inspector General formally notified the Congress that the administration was forbidding him from turning over a whistle-blower complain on Constitution Day, this is a violation of law. Shortly thereafter, press reports began to break of a phone call by the president of the United States calling upon a foreign party to intervene in his election. This is a breach of his Constitutional responsibilities. The facts are these. The intelligence community’s Inspector General, who is appointed by President Trump, determined that the complaint is both of urgent concern and credible. And its disclosure, he went on to say, relates to one of the most significant important of the Director of National Intelligence’s responsibility to the American people.
Trump has lashed out calling the latest move Presidential Harassment.
He says, “They’re going to lose the election and they figure this is a thing to do. This never happened where we’re in the election, and – I mean, if she does that, they all say that’s a positive for me, for the election. You could also say, “Who needs it?” It’s bad for the country. Then they wonder why they don’t get gun legislation done. Then they wonder why they don’t get drug prices lowered. Because all they do is talk nonsense. No more infrastructure bills. No more anything. All they do – that’s all they do. You watch Jerry Nadler and Schiff – you know, Schiff has been doing this stuff for three and a half years. It’s the craziest thing anybody has ever seen.”
With just over 13 months before presidential elections in 2020, this now starts a political brawl between Democrats and Republicans, the likes of which the country has not seen since former President Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998. And it’s a path that remains unclear – this is an inquiry – but does not necessarily mean that the House will vote to charge the President with high crimes and misdemeanours.
But even if that were to happen, it would be left to the Senate to convict – and with Republicans in control of the upper House, it’s likely a bridge too far.