Senate requires 2/3 majority to fully impeach and we hope they get it
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment investigation against President of the United States Donald Trump on Sept. 24. The motion to charge the president is long overdue and the Senate must not fail us when the time comes to remove Trump from office.
The U.S. has been teased with impeachment since the Mueller report and the investigation into Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election, however, it took until now to initiate the formal process.
This time, the abuse of power that pushed the democrats and Pelosi to act was a whistleblower complaint regarding a controversial phone call between Trump and Ukrianian President Volodymyr Zelensky from July.
The White House released a manuscript on Sept. 25, laying out how Trump abused his position of presidential power by asking Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. At the time of the call, Trump was withholding millions of dollars worth of military assistance from Ukraine.
This is a clear act of bribery; and asking a foreign power to dig up dirt for the sake of reelection is a clear abuse of power. But does it matter?
In order to be impeached from office, according to Article 2 Section 4 of the constitution, “the president, vice president and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
The impeachment of a president is rare and has only happened twice in U.S. history. It’s important to understand that impeachment does not mean removal.
The 17th President of the United States Andrew Johnson was impeached for removing an appointed official without the consent of Congress in Feb. 24, 1868. Johnson was acquitted based on a Senate vote.
The 37th President of the United States Richard Nixon faced imminent impeachment but became the first president to resign in August 8, 1974. In a “you can’t fire me because I quit” fashion, Nixon left office before he could forcibly booted after the infamous Watergate Scandal where he facilitated political spying to aid with reelection.
The 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton was “impeached” but not necessarily removed. The House of Representatives impeached Clinton but just as with Johnson, the senate did not come to the necessary 2/3 majority agreement.
Fast forward to 2019 and the recently exposed phone call.
“…There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the persecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,” Trump said in the phone call. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”
This refers to Hunter Biden’s employment with Burisma Holdings, a Ukrianian gas company, back in May 2014. Trump states Joe Biden used his influence and wealth to persuade Ukraine to remove the prosecutor investigating Burisma and Biden’s son. Trump then says the prosecutor was replaced within hours of the request.
The House of Representatives claims the phone call was a turning point for many Democrats, who, after reading the transcript, began to consider impeachment seriously.
The House initially bet on the Mueller report to initiate an impeachment inquiry, but the report failed to surface any firm presidential wrongdoings. Additionally, Pelosi wanted to be mindful of the approaching 2020 election, making an effort to not popularize Trump’s platform or sway voters.
The process seems to be moving along quickly, but the trial is postponed until security surrounding the whistleblower’s identity and safety is finalized.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Shiff announced the whistleblower will testify “very soon.” Meanwhile, Schiff, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel and House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings issued Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer, a subpoena.
“You [Giuliani] acted as an agent of the President in a scheme to advance his personal political interests by abusing the power of the Office of the President…” the subpoena said.
The subpoena requires that Giuliani present “…communications, and other related documents, to the Committees in order to determine the full extent of this effort by the President and his Administration to press Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 presidential election” by Oct. 15.
We can only hope the Senate will pull through this time and formally remove the 45th President of the United States from office.