On Thursday, House legislators were asked to draft charges for the impeachment process against President Donald Trump, under the conviction, at least of the Democratic majority, that the president committed crimes of extortion and others that damaged the integrity of the nation.
The petition was made in a formal act broadcast by Congressional Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who required “the formalities” of the case to provide the necessary legislative and judicial basis for an impeachment because they apparently have enough evidence to accuse him of “abuse of power” for his “personal benefit” over the thread of the facts of the Ukraine President phone call.
“Our democracy is what is at stake. The president leaves us no choice,” Pelosi said in a congressional intervention in which he remarked that “the President abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security.”
With this announcement, the formalities for asking the Senate to remove Trump are likely to be ready before Christmas. Pelosi said that “the President´s actions have seriously violated the Constitution” and assured that she makes the decision “sadly, but with confidence and humility”.
Trump has repeatedly responded by saying that his phone call with Zelensky was “perfect,” and showed no evidence of the “quid-pro quo” the Democrats claim. A transcript of the White House call shows no direct evidence of this alleged agreement, according to Republicans and none of the witnesses called by the Chairman of Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff has been able to provide irrefutable evidence of this agreement so far.
Nancy Pelosi, who until recently was cautious about the political implications of challenging the president, announced the decision today. The Speaker issued this instruction two days after the House Intelligence Committee voted to send a report to the Judicial Committee. The document claims that the evidence of Trump’s misconduct is “overwhelming”.
Pelosi’s announcement was not entirely unexpected, but it is a dramatic fact that increases the likelihood that the House will be able to vote on formal recall articles against Trump before Christmas.
Pelosi described Trump’s contacts with Ukraine as a threat to the country and a justification for such action.
Once the charges are drafted, and after approval by the Committee, it will be put to a vote in the House of Representatives, where it is expected to go ahead smoothly given the comfortable majority of Democrats of 235 versus 199.
There is no date at the moment for this vote, but it is expected to take place before the end of the year.
The second and final chapter of the impeachment will move to the Senate, where Republicans have a slight majority of 53 seats versus 47 Democrats.
However, the laws require for a dismissal process to go ahead, the support of two thirds of the Upper House, so it would be necessary that about twenty Republican senators would have to defect to convict Trump and remove him from office, something highly unlikely.
The current Republican leader thus becomes the fourth US president to face a political trial Andrew Johnson (1865-1869) and Bill Clinton (1993-2001) emerged victorious from their processes, while Richard Nixon (1969-1974) resigned before it happened.
Translated by: José Espinoza