Donald Trump on the road to a historic impeachment trial

President Donald Trump on December 12 in Washington.
President Donald Trump on December 12 in Washington. YURI GRIPAS / REUTERS

After long hours of invectives and quibbles on Thursday, the members of the Judicial Committee of the House of Representatives adopted in seven minutes, Friday, December 13, the articles accusing Donald Trump of "abuse of power" and of "Hindering the smooth running of the Congress". By 23 votes for and 17 against, the vote respected the partisan divide. These articles will be submitted to elected officials in plenary before the Christmas break, and the impeachment should be confirmed. This will be the last step in the hands of the Democrats before the House, in January before the Republican-dominated Senate, opens a historic dismissal trial.

Donald Trump will then become the third American president sued in this way. This particular place in history prompted this comment from the main interested party: "It’s sad for our country, but it seems very positive to me, politically. " At this time, it is difficult to judge the effects of this investigation on the future and the balance sheet of Mr. Trump; opened following a telephone exchange between the American and Ukrainian presidents, it established that the release of military aid in Kiev had been subject to the opening of investigations targeting former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, one of its potential adversaries in 2020. But one thing is already established: the sequence has closed the ranks of Republicans around Mr. Trump, and widened as never before the gap between the Democrats and the Grand Old Party (GOP ).

Read also Investigation that could lead to Trump’s dismissal explained at a glance

"Unconstitutional farce"

After two months of hearings marked by virulent exchanges, partisan positions have been strengthened. This tension is reflected in the polls conducted among voters. Unlike previous impeachment procedures – a clear majority had emerged for the removal of Richard Nixon in 1974 and against that of Bill Clinton in 1998 – public opinion is almost perfectly divided between supporters and opponents of the impeachment of Mr. Trump.

For the Democrats, the facts revealed are clearly an abuse of power, justifying the indictment in Congress. Republicans, on the contrary, believe that the investigation did not reveal any reprehensible behavior. Over the weeks, resuming the rhetoric of the president, they qualified the procedure of "Unconstitutional farce" of " witch hunt " and of "Political trial", that the Democrats would have opened in a spirit of revenge after their defeat in 2016. No discordant voice was raised among the elected republican. It must be said that the popularity of the president within the GOP remains high (between 80% and 90% satisfied). In this context, some moderate democrats, elected in disputed districts, would even hesitate to vote the impeachment in plenary session, for fear of mobilizing a part of the electorate against them in 2020.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here