Here’s what you need to know about the impeachment inquiries
Recently, there’s been a lot of discussion in the news about impeachment. More and more congresspeople are making statements on their positions for impeachment of President Trump. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has started an impeachment inquiry on October 8 and multiple aids to Trump suspected of discussions with the Ukraine have been called in for trials.
With all of this momentum, here’s the background you need to make your own decision.
Impeachment is a process where the legislature, Congress, makes a charge against a public official, often the President. It does not necessarily remove them from office.
Some left-wing groups have been in support of President Trump’s impeachment since his election. Concerns about Russian interference in the election prompted this. An investigation done by Robert Mueller was not deemed strong enough by Congressional leaders to pursue an impeachment inquiry. However, others in his election campaign were indicted including former campaign manager Paul Manafort, former campaign official Rick Gates, Ukrainian business associate Konstantin Kilimnik, friend and associate Roger Stone, personal attorney Michael Cohen, and foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos among others.
On July 25, Trump called Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and asked him to investigate political rival and presidential candidate, Joe Biden. Before the phone call, he told his administration to withhold $400 million in military aid to Ukraine. Many have connected these two events, claiming that Trump was threatening Ukraine that he would not give them the money unless they helped him. However, the administration has denied this. He also asked President Zelensky to publicly discredit the hearings done by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
There are incriminating text messages between Trump and U.S. officials in Europe that talked about withholding military aid to Ukraine unless they were to investigate Biden.
On October 3 outside of the White House before heading to Florida, Trump also urged China to look into Biden’s past. Hunter Biden had been on the board for a Chinese private equity company but is now stepping down amid the conflict. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the South China Morning Post on October 8 that “we have no intention of intervening in the domestic affairs of the United States.”
At the U.N. General Assembly in September, Ukrainian President Zelensky said that he did not feel pressure from the U.S. and did not want to be involved in American elections by doing investigations on political candidates.
Joe Biden wrote in a Washington Post op-Ed published October 6: “Every day—every few hours, seemingly—more evidence is uncovered revealing that President Trump is abusing the power of the presidency and is wholly unfit to be president.”
Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, was on the board of the Ukrainian gas and oil company, Burisma Holdings, from 2014-2019. The company was investigated by the Ukrainian government because of questions about whether the founder had committed any illegal activities including tax evasion. There is no evidence of whether Hunter participated in anything illegal.
Two men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, have been arrested for allegedly helping Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, investigate the Biden’s and for violating campaign finance laws.
Multiple officials are planning to testify this week including former advisor Fiona Hill, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, State Department Counselor Ulrich Brechbuhl and US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.
According to the New York Times, 228 representatives in the House now support impeachment, while 191 still do not. All Republicans in the House are against impeachment as well as eight Democrats.
Where do you stand? Answer the Sabre poll to show your opinion.