Reporting on the attempts of U.S. President Donald trump to his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky dirt on former Vice-President of the USA Joe Biden, the most probable competitor of the trump in the upcoming presidential election – and his son provided a basis for political opponents of the White house to demand start the procedure of his removal from power. To this appeal of the radical left wing of the Democratic party appears ready to join and moderate Democrats, including their informal leader – the speaker of the house of representatives Nancy Pelosi, writes “Kommersant”.
According to The Washington Post, Pelosi, who still didn’t approve of impeachment, beginning to find out the opinions of party members about the possibility of making the President formal charges. According to sources of the newspaper, Pelosi asked my colleagues whether they think that trying to find the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky dirt on his alleged opponent in the election of 2020 Joe Biden, Donald trump has crossed the “red line” and gave serious grounds for impeachment. Most of interviewees answer this question in the affirmative.
Since September 23, when “the Ukrainian scandal” began to be discussed on the sidelines of the Congress, it became known that 12 lawmakers, Democrats expressed their intention to deprive Donald trump authorities if allegations of pressure on Vladimir Zelensky confirmed. Mostly moderate Democrats, or members of Congress whose electoral position is quite shaky. Previously, they preferred to refrain from supporting impeachment, not to annoy conservative voters.
A member of the house of representatives Pramila Jayapal described the situation as “a constitutional crisis”. As the representative of the democratic socialists Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that the refusal of the Democratic party’s impeachment – more scandal than the illegal behavior of the President.
According to opinion polls, most Americans still do not support impeachment, nor even the evaluation of its solvency: in favor 37% of Americans, 50% against. However, these polls were conducted before the publication of the details of the “Ukrainian history”.
The key date for the Democrats will be September 26 – the head of National intelligence Joseph Maguire will speak before members of Congress and will report why he did not progress a complaint of one of the scouts suspect Donald trump is that in conversation with “a foreign leader” (presumably, Vladimir Zelensky) he gave some secret information. Apparently, it was after this speech, opponents of the current President will decide their future strategy.
However, all may not be so simple: according to Politico, Donald trump has formed around him a whole team of lawyers, specifically fighting any attempts at impeachment. For example, they opposed the attempts of politicians and prosecutors to access his tax returns, has blocked attempts to force the former General counsel of the White house don Makhana to speak before Congress and are regularly consulted by members of the administration prior to their conversations with legislators.
“I am sure that trump and his advisors understand that they have almost no chance to lose the vote on impeachment in the House of representatives and there is no chance to be convicted in the Senate. They are at every step will try to provide a procedural proceedings on the question of impeachment as an illegal attempt to cancel the election results. Tramp gets a huge political dividends from this argument”, – commented the lawyer William Jeffress, representing the interests of former U.S. President Richard Nixon after his resignation.
For impeachment the votes of half of the 435 members of the house of representatives. While publicly the readiness to vote for impeachment announced 155 Democrats. If all the Democrats decide to present to the President of the charges, the impeachment will be declared. Then the final decision will be for the Senate, where most Republicans. Given that trump is extremely popular in his party (the level of approval among Republicans – 91%), loss of power it is not yet safe. But his opponent Joe Biden after the publication of the “Ukrainian history” throughout the race will have to fend off accusations of impropriety and conflict of interest.
Meanwhile, the campaign headquarters trump issued a statement calling for the establishment of “a formal task force on protection from impeachment.” “This group will consist of the staunchest supporters of President trump, who are willing to fight for him, to secure his re-election and once again regain control of the House of representatives”, – stated in the document, which is quoted by TASS. One of the assistants in the office of the Republican party in the Senate of the Congress said that it “will not allow” the President to resign because of accusations based on “media reports and rumors”.
The trump expressed confidence that the start of the procedure will only benefit him, describing it as “sequel “witch hunt”. He also expressed surprise that the Democrats are talking about impeachment, having no idea about the content of a phone call. According to him, the source who filed the complaint against trump because of the content of his phone conversation with Zelensky, heard about this from second or third parties was highly prejudicial to the President. “I have something better: we have a transcript of the call, which we will publish tomorrow. It was the perfect call,” assured trump.
Impeachment provides for the prosecution of Federal employees, including the President of the United States, accused of “treason, bribery or other serious crimes and offences”.
The procedure of impeachment of the head of state was initiated in the history of the United States three times. These presidents were Andrew Johnson (in 1868) and bill Clinton (in 1998-1999). But they both were acquitted by the Senate. Richard Nixon, who served as heads of state in 1969-1974, resigned before the start of Senate hearings.
“Exclusive prerogative” to formulate and to press charges does the House of representatives. Congressmen do vote to refer the matter to its legal Committee, which is investigating the charges. The actual indictment is prepared, if the investigation reveals grounds for charges.
After approval by the Committee, the document is sent to the house of representatives of the whole. For approval requires a simple majority vote that the current balance of forces lawmakers of the U.S. Democratic party, which at this stage in opposition, can theoretically gain.
If approved, the charges are transferred to the Senate, where procedure turns into a trial. The house of representatives it is actually favored by the prosecution and the senators play the role of jurors. To the impeachment took place, it is necessary not less than two-thirds of senators (67).