Democrats announce opening of parliamentary inquiry for Donald Trump's dismissal

Nancy Pelosi, Washington, September 24.
Nancy Pelosi, Washington, September 24. Andrew Harnik / AP

The United States is engaged in the unknown, Tuesday, September 24. At the end of the afternoon, the speaker (Speaker) Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (California) announced the launch of a recall procedure (impeachment) Donald Trump; it has only been used three times in the past, without ever ending with a president in office.

Nancy Pelosi felt that the current tenant of the White House has "Violated the Constitution" by asking, according to her, a foreign dignitary to investigate one of his political opponents, former Vice President Joe Biden, also candidate for the Democratic nomination for the presidential 2020.

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For months, Nancy Pelosi had resisted calls from the left wing of his party against a backdrop of "Russian" investigation linked to the interferences lent to Moscow by US intelligence during the 2016 presidential election, for the benefit of Donald Trump. A judicious choice: the investigation of the special prosecutor Robert Mueller had dismissed the suspicion of collusion while refusing also to pronounce on the obstruction of justice.

By a curious irony of history, the procedure started Tuesday starts from a telephone conversation that took place the day after the hearing of the Special Prosecutor by the House of Representatives on July 24, which effectively put an end to this controversial. This exchange involved the President of the United States and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Reporting to the Inspector General of Intelligence

According to Washington Post, who first revealed it less than a week ago, on September 18, Donald Trump would have invited his interlocutor to open investigations concerning Hunter Biden, the son of the Democratic presidential candidate for the 2020 presidential election, former Vice President Joe Biden. A potentially perilous use of the presidential function for political purposes.

These contacts with the President and Ukraine prompted a whistleblower belonging to the US intelligence community to report in early August to Inspector General of National Intelligence Michael Atkinson. Appointed by Donald Trump in 2018, the latter deemed it alarming enough to consider sending it to Congress.

The acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, however, opposed with the support of the Department of Justice. Heard in camera by the Intelligence Committee of the House of Representatives, on September 19, Michael Atkinson kept silence at the behest of his supervisory authority.

For months, relatives of Donald Trump openly try to urge the Ukrainian authorities to relaunch investigations considered potentially harmful for the Democratic camp.

The first concerns the presence of Joe Biden's son, Hunter, on the board of directors of a private gas company from 2014, at a time when his father was vice-president of the United States. The second refers to possible links between officials of the Ukrainian administration and emissaries of the Democratic Party; these links would have uncovered the tax and banking fraud that led to the condemnation to prison of a Donald Trump campaign director, Paul Manafort, caught up by his past activities in Ukraine as a political consultant.

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" Witch hunt "

A lawyer for President Donald Trump, former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, has confirmed that he has asked the Ukrainian authorities to investigate the Biden family. He claims that the former vice-president of the United States obtained, in 2016, the dismissal, decided by the Ukrainian Parliament, of a public prosecutor who was investigating the company of Hunter Biden. The official was however criticized by the US government and the European Union (EU), who accused him of blocking reforms aimed at the Ukrainian legal system.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, has not stopped validating part of the information published by the American press, while placing them in a more favorable context.

After initially ensuring that this conversation " not'(had) not important ", he first acknowledged that the name of the Biden had been mentioned, and that he had frozen the payment of American aid until this exchange, fueling the thesis of a market. The President of the United States, however, assured that he had made this decision despite the fact that his country was once again making contributions, unlike other allies, and that he wanted to obtain from his counterpart commitments in the fight against terrorism. against corruption.

In the space of a few days, Donald Trump returned to the denunciations of a "Presidential harassment" and a " witch hunt " that he had multiplied during the "Russian" investigation, while repeating that the behavior of Joe Biden during this period deserves an investigation. He assured that the person at the origin of the case, whose name remains unknown for the moment, "Is a partial whistleblower", even if he says he does not know his identity.

Read also Accusations of a whistleblower on Ukraine: Trump denounces a "ridiculous" case

Uncertain political consequences

Pressured by the Democrats, Donald Trump reacted Tuesday, before the announcement of Nancy Pelosi, indicating that the content of the telephone conversation will be published in full and that it will show that his conversations with his counterparts "Are always irreproachable". The same should be true of the whistleblower's note, which his lawyer was pleased to hear. According to the American press, this note includes elements other than the content of the telephone exchange.

The political consequences of triggering the impeachment procedure remain uncertain. It is theoretically unlikely to lead to the ousting of Donald Trump given the majority held by the Republican Party in the Senate. The conservative elected representatives, with very few exceptions, have also kept up until now to express the least trouble. The upper chamber is sovereign in the matter. She actually hears the President's trial on the basis of a possible indictment (impeachment) drafted by the House of Representatives.

Read also "Impeachment" of a president: what does the US Constitution provide?

Donald Trump felt that this procedure could turn to his advantage in opinion. "They all say it would be good for me in the election", he said on Tuesday, on the sidelines of its bilateral meetings. All the opinion studies carried out so far, particularly in the context of the Russian survey, have shown that a relative majority of respondents are opposed to it.

Democrats who refused in the past also highlighted the risk of division of the country. In addition to the potentially devastating nature, if proven, of the new case, another element may have prompted Nancy Pelosi to take the plunge: Donald Trump's strategy of systematic filibustering to the executive's vengeance the Constitution. The shadow of destitution, now, will not stop hovering over the primary democrats and the first months of the presidential election of 2020.


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