Congress formalizes the impeachment investigation without support from the Republican Party, while two Democratic legislators vote against it
This Thursday was not just any Halloween. Oct. 31 will go down in history as the day on which the U.S. House of Representatives approved the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, the fourth president in U.S. history to face formal proceedings for his possible removal from office. Only, these proceedings began five weeks ago.
In reality the vote, approved with the strict support of the Democratic Party minus the votes of two of its members, was not necessary. The U.S. Constitution does not specify that the House has to approve the beginning of an impeachment investigation, but the president and his acolytes had used the absence of this procedure to discredit the process. Speaker Nancy Pelosi was hoping to take this argument away from them by bringing the vote to the floor, but she only managed to validate them in that “the entire impeachment process was a sham from the beginning and Nancy Pelosi can’t legitimize it after the fact,” the Trump campaign said in a statement.
This resolution establishes guidelines for declassifying the transcripts of some of the closed-door interviews held by the Intelligence Committee and allows the Judiciary Committee, in turn, to open some of its hearings to the public. Furthermore, the president could have his attorneys present, even though this initial investigation is not formally a political trial. That phase will occur in the Senate, once the House of Representatives approves the articles that the Judiciary Committee still has to draft.
The rules approved this Thursday by 232 Democrats, who did not manage to convert a single Republican to their cause, are similar to those that governed the inquiries into Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon, the only two presidents in modern history who have been investigated for impeachment. Being a part of such a club is no honor, but Trump had a lot to celebrate.
That is, the Republican Party that he took by storm three years ago by winning the primaries showed him unwavering support. The conservative party is no longer Ronald Reagan’s or George Bush’s party, but Trump’s, and Trump demands absolute loyalty. This guarantees that if the House approves the articles of impeachment, the Senate will exonerate him. In addition, the inquiry will serve to purge the White House of undesirables, in other words, career officials who put the country and the Constitution before the president.
Since he took office, accustomed to running a family business, Trump has mistrusted what he calls the “Deep State,” that is, government officials without any political affiliation whom he sees as hidden enemies because they put the country before the president. The willingness of some to testify before the Democrats gives them away.
Resigning in Order To Speak
He will not have to fire Tim Morrison, an expert on Europe and Russia who served on the National Security Council. Morrison stepped down on Wednesday night so he could testify the next day before the Intelligence Committee that is investigating whether the president used his power to blackmail Ukraine.
The day before, Col. Alexander Vindman, the chief expert on Ukraine on the same council, shared that the transcript of the call that Trump made on July 25 to his Ukrainian counterpart was missing key words that would prove the existence of a “quid pro quo.” The fact is that the president withheld military aid approved by Congress until the Ukrainians promised to investigate his political enemy Joe Biden’s son for corruption.
This seemed so inappropriate to Vindman that he went to White House counsel to convey his alarm, but Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs John Eisenberg’s reaction was to lock the transcript up in a maximum security computer system. The committee has called him to testify next week; there he will have to prove his loyalty, whether it be to the country or to the president.