The Impeachment


Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Coby Scrudder, Writer

Right now, it seems like everyone is going crazy with impeachment mania.  The Democrats in the house are trying to muster support to impeach the president and are also trying to get Republican support, and many early signs show that there may be enough support if the Democrats can get enough evidence.  The main issue in the impeachment trial is Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.  This transcript came out on September 26th after Trump agreed to declassify it completely.  In this call, Trump asked Zelensky to look into Joe Biden’s involvement in getting a Ukrainian prosecutor red.  This prosecutor was looking into Biden’s son Hunter and his involvement with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.  This company was under investigation for corruption.  He also asked Ukraine for a favor in looking into possible DNC corruption in the 2016 election.

There are a couple of issues with what Trump did.  First, Trump withheld $400 million of military aid to Ukraine before the call with Zelensky.  White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney says that this was done to make Ukraine investigate the possible DNC corruption in the 2016 election.  However, many opponents of Trump argue that this was a quid pro quo for investigating Joe Biden and not the DNC.  Second, he asked for an investigation into Joe Biden, a possible presidential opponent, and not into Hunter Biden.  If Joe Biden is responsible for the investigation into Burisma getting stopped, then that investigation should be reopened, but Trump only asked for an investigation into Joe.  Another problem in this is that Trump asked Zelensky to work with his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.  Since this apparently needed to be stated, it is not normal for a country to work with a President’s personal lawyer.

Outside of this transcript, a couple of other key pieces of evidence have come out.  One of these is a draft of a statement made by Trump’s aides that was meant to be given to Zelensky.  This statement would have made it clear that Trump wanted to have the Ukrainians investigate Joe Biden and his involvement with the 2016 election, which Trump believes was interfered with, just not by the Russians.  Giuliani helped to write this statement and told the writing aides exactly what to tell the Ukrainian President to do.  In addition to this concrete evidence, many witnesses have come forward as well.  One of the biggest witnesses was William Taylor Jr., the head U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.  He told impeachment prosecutors that Trump had withheld aid and refused a White House meeting with Ukraine until they would investigate Joe Biden.

This statement essentially refuted Trump’s assertion that there was no quid pro quo with Ukraine for investigating Biden.  Another witness, Gordon Sondland, a U.S. ambassador to the E.U., told investigators how Giuliani dealt with much of the foreign policy between the U.S. and Ukraine.  Many other witnesses have come forward and objected to Trump’s delegation of foreign policy to his personal lawyer and away from career diplomats.  Currently, many members of the executive, including Trump, V.P. Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Giuliani are under subpoena from the House impeachment investigation, but they have denied these subpoenas.  They claim that the impeachment inquiry is illegitimate, and they will not comply with the subpoenas, which is illegal.

Currently, support for impeachment is split partisan.  However, many Republicans have said that they would vote in favor of impeachment if there was enough evidence.  They do not believe that there is enough, but given a couple more weeks, there may be. New evidence seems to come out every day and much of it could change the tide of the impeachment.