Pelosi announces impeachment inquiry


ABC News

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D), announced on September 24th that the House of Representatives would be launching an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump (R). When Pelosi was formally interviewed about the future status of impeachment, she responded by saying that “this is a very sad time for our country.” She proceeded to state the need to “put country before party” and specified that the impeachment process is not a political message from the Democrats but a constitutional one. 

Rep. Adam Schiff (D) and Pelosi along with House Democrats have identified their exigence for impeachment: the Ukraine Scandal. The Ukraine scandal was brought to light by an anonymous whistleblower. As the name implies, the whistleblower exposed events that the House is now employing as a basis for impeachment. The U.S. government disinterred the lengthy complaint further and confirmed that the majority of the complaint was certifiable. 

The Democrats’ smoking gun is an official summary of the phone call, taking place on July 25th, between President Donald Trump and Ukranian leader, Volodymyr Zelensky. During the phone call, President Donald Trump seemingly urged Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden, son of Former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump wanted Zelensky to investigate Biden’s business dealings as he was withholding U.S. aid; most Democrats theorize that Trump is simply trying to concoct a scandal around his potential 2020 rival. 

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney and former mayor of New York, rejected a subpoena, issued by House members, to release documents to investigators in charge of the impeachment inquiry. Guiliani is under federal scrutiny for being in accordance with the President’s wishes of investigating a political rival’s son to further his own political gain. By defying Congress’s subpoena, Guiliani has prolonged the impeachment process and the House hasn’t responded to these actions. The House’s options moving forward include: having the courts enforce the congressional subpoena or to use the inherent contempt power to get witnesses to comply with the subpoena. 

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, confirmed that the Democrats will not be using their inherent contempt power to enforce subpoenas. Currently, the House is choosing to not enforce the subpoena by hoping that the witnesses’ record of misconduct will force Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold an impeachment trial without actually targeting Guiliani. 

Two-thirds of the Senate need to vote in order to formally impeach President Trump if they find him guilty of asking Ukranian president to commit divisive actions to investigate a political rival. However, the Constitution doesn’t explicitly state when the Senate needs to consider House impeachment charges. This means that the Senate could postpone a trial as long as it conveniences them. This poses a threat to the House’s claims that the impeachment process will be completed by the end of this year, and places the Senate’s actions under public scrutiny as the march towards impeachment continues.