U.S. President Donald Trump is hanging in the balance as he is facing the biggest scandal since his inauguration. His impeachment is being discussed as he faces indictment over allegations that his presidential campaign colluded with Russia, a scandal that has since been termed “Russiagate.” Russiagate began when then-candidate Trump sought the help of his Russian connections to hack the emails of Democrat Hillary Clinton. Suspicions surfaced in February 2017 with the resignation of Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn for having maintained undisclosed communications with Russia, and with the recent dismissal of the FBI director James Comey, who was investigating Russia’s interference with the 2016 election. On May 16, these suspicions increased with The New York Times’ report on the “Comey memo,” written by Comey after President Trump asked him to drop the federal investigation into Flynn. This obstruction of justice, along with The Washington Post’s report on the previous day that Trump shared with Russia the highly-classified intelligence about ISIS provided by a U.S. partner, is causing the scandal to snowball.
The political atmosphere in the U.S. is currently in turmoil, with new scandals blooming every morning. Accusing Trump of abusing his powers, the Democrats are pressuring his administration with demands for an independent investigation to uncover the truth and with calls for his impeachment. Some Republicans are also willing to take part in the latter. Adding to this mayhem is the discord in the White House between the president and his aides, not to mention the American people’s disappointment with the performance of the Trump administration. This is evidenced by Trump’s approval rating, which has hit 38 percent, the worst since his inauguration, along with the 48 percent support for his impeachment. Impeachment, of course, is not easy, but the U.S. media predicts that the “Comey memo” could be the definitive proof of its possibility: Asking the FBI to drop an investigation is an obstruction of justice, which could legally cause Trump’s indictment. In the case of President Richard Nixon, for example, the Nixon White House tapes provided evidence of Nixon’s attempt to obstruct the FBI’s investigation of the Watergate scandal, for which he faced impeachment charges that eventually led to his resignation.
The aftermath of this incident is not going to stay within the boundaries of the U.S. Trump’s act of transferring classified intelligence provided by an ally to another country could possibly create distrust and damage the United States’ relationship with its allies. In particular, South Korea should stay updated on this scandal because our nation is significantly influenced by the U.S.; Trump, who is in hot water for domestic political issues, may try to divert attention to the North Korean nuclear issue. We need to be thoroughly prepared for the “Trump Risk” that may threaten peace on the Korean Peninsula.