US representatives vote to continue Donald Trump's impeachment proceedings

The House of Representatives has approved the investigation into an impeachment proceeding against Donald Trump on October 31 in Washington.
The House of Representatives has approved the investigation into an impeachment proceeding against Donald Trump on October 31 in Washington. WIN MCNAMEE / AFP

The Democratic-backed House of Representatives on Thursday approved an investigation into an explosive dismissal procedure against Donald Trump, pushing her into a new public phase after five weeks of in camera interrogations.

The resolution was adopted by 232 votes in favor, 196 against, elected officials largely following the instructions of their party. It was presented by the elected Democrat James McGovern, who chairs the Rules Committee of the House of Representatives. This text provides a formal framework for investigations and will allow elected officials to publicly question witnesses in the Ukrainian case.

On September 24, Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the Democrats in the House, decided to engage her party on the perilous road of impeachment after revelations about a phone call between Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, at the heart of summer.

During this exchange, the Republican President had asked his interlocutor to "To lean" on his rival Democrat Joe Biden, possible candidate in the presidential election of 2020, and the affairs of his son Hunter in Ukraine. Democrats accuse Mr. Trump of abusing his power for personal gain, with Joe Biden well positioned to face it in the 2020 presidential election.

condemning "Donald Trump's attack on the Constitution", the latter, like other Democratic candidates at the White House, welcomed the vote.

Affirming to be targeted by a " Rebellion ", the president insists that this call was "Blameless" and claims to be a victim of "The greatest witch hunt in American history". "It's unfair, unconstitutional and fundamentally anti-American", for its part commented on the White House in a statement.

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  • Cut short criticisms of Republicans

To determine whether Donald Trump has used state means to pressure Kiev, the Democrats have already heard a dozen White House diplomats and advisers behind the closed doors of the House. According to the elements that leaked, ambassadors and senior officials delivered sometimes overwhelming testimony for the White House during these river auditions.

They revealed months of efforts by relatives of the president, including his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on the sidelines of official diplomatic channels, to convince Kiev to provide embarrassing information about Joe Biden.

Specialist White House counselor Tim Morrison was also heard on Thursday. According to American media, he confirmed to the elected officials that backstage Washington had called for the opening of an investigation in Kiev on the company employing Hunter Biden before unblocking a military aid intended for Ukraine.

Morrison was working with former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who was called to testify on November 7, but may refuse to do so if he is not summoned.

The president and his entourage have repeatedly criticized the secret of these hearings, accusing the Democrats of distilling selected elements to give a distorted image of reality. They also accused them of violating Donald Trump's rights to defend himself and to move forward without ever having a vote. The resolution aims to deprive them of this line of defense. In addition to organizing public hearings, the resolution provides for allowing Republicans to call their own witnesses during the investigation phase overseen by the Intelligence Committee.

The text then provides for the transfer of evidence to the Judiciary Committee which will be responsible for drafting the articles of indictment of the President. At this stage, "The participation of the president and his lawyers will be allowed", according to a copy of the text. Donald Trump's defense will be able to request further testimony or documents, cross-examine and submit objections. But if the president refuses to cooperate with congressional requests, his demands may be denied.

For this reason, the White House is shouting at "Scam". The American Constitution gives only the outline for dismissing a president: it is up to the House of Representatives to charge him, in the Senate to judge him. Given the Republican majority in the upper house, dismissal seems unlikely at this stage.

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  • Win the battle of public opinion

With the vote of this resolution, the Democrats intended to win the battle of the public opinion: "Americans will be able to hear live how the president abused his powers", wrote on Twitter Nancy Pelosi.

" Public opinion is all that matters, she said to a group of journalists. With it, you can accomplish almost anything. Without it, you can not do anything. " For the New York Times (NYTAlso, the result of the survey will depend on public opinion. If the Democrats manage to persuade a tiny part of President Trump's supporters that he should no longer be president, he will almost certainly lose the 2020 elections. If the Democrats can convince a modest part of these supporters, he risks losing support. Republicans of Congress and being removed from office by the Senate.

Democrats, however, know the procedure is dangerous: voters in six key states in 2020 (Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) oppose (from 52% to 44%) the removal of the president Donald Trump, according to a survey published by the NYTOctober 21st. But the same proportion supports the inquiry conducted by the House of Representatives.

  • John Bolton, possible prosecution witness

The Democrats finally plan to use the John Bolton card. The former National Security Advisor of the White House has been invited to testify before the House of Representatives committees, says the New York Times. Mr. Bolton, sacked by the Republican President on September 10, could be auditioned on November 7, according to the Washington Post. The latter may refuse to testify, the Democrats have so far issued a summons, not an injunction, according to US media.

John Bolton would have been alarmed at the parallel diplomacy of Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, calling him "Pinned grenade", testified Fiona Hill, former counselor to the White House on Ukraine. For Mr. Bolton, the actions of Mr. Giuliani and the White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, would be worthy of "Maneuvers of small drug traffickers"she added.

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Our selection of articles on the case of the appeal between Trump and Zelensky


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