On Tuesday Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would begin proceedings to formally investigate Trump based on an unnamed whistleblower’s accusation that he tried to strong-arm the President of Ukraine for his own political gain.
The process has been a long time coming for the Democrats, who initially were reluctant, even during the Mueller investigation which probed whether or not the Trump administration melded in the 2016 election alongside Russian officials. However, after an unknown whistleblower revealed that a concerning phone call took place between Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of the Ukraine in July, in regards to Joe Biden’s son Hunter, and his business dealings in the Ukraine.
This is the third time that a president has gone under impeachment proceedings in Congress, first with Andrew Jackson, then Bill Clinton and now Trump. President Nixon resigned before official impeachment proceedings could take place due to the Watergate scandal.
Trump believes that then Vice President Biden interfered with a Ukrainian investigation of his son Hunter after Vice President Biden was appointed to oversee the fallout from the Ukrainian revolution, which took place in 2014. Around that time Hunter Biden took a position as a board member at Burisma, Ukraine’s largest private gas company, where he was paid up to $50,000 a month according to a report by NPR. Earlier this spring, Hunter Biden stepped down as a board member at Burisma.
In the transcript of the phone call between Trump and Zelensky, which was released Wednesday morning by the Trump administration, Trump asked Zelensky to look into why the country’s top prosecutor had ended their investigation of Biden. The call took place on July 25.
“Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it, it sounds horrible to me,” Trump said to Zelensky during the 30-min phone call, according to NBC News.
After Zelensky tells Trump that he will appoint a new prosecutor to “look into the situation.” Not only that, the transcript also names Attorney General William Barr and Trump’s advisor Rudy Giuliani, who will also possibly face the heat of an investigation.
Trump believes that it was a conflict of interest and like the pot calling the kettle black, wants the Biden family to be investigated. There are murmurs that Trump reportedly threatened to withhold millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine over the matter, but that has not yet been proved. However, it could be inferred that Trump has concerns regarding the 2020 election and whether or not Biden will prove to be the Democratic frontrunner in the election.
The chairmen of the below six committees in the House will pull together their own separate findings and present them to the presiding Judiciary Committee in the House as phase one. But there are some key players to look out for during the beginning and end stages of the investigation.
Speaker of the House: Madame Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Judiciary Committee Chairmen: Rep. Jerrold “Jerry” Nadler (D-NY)
Intelligence Committee Chairmen: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)
Ways and Means Committee Chairmen: Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-MA)
Financial Services Committee Chairwoman: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Oversight and Foreign Affairs Chairmen: Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY)
Senate Majority Leader: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Senate Minority Leader: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Supreme Court Chief Justice: John Roberts
The unnamed whistleblower who bought the call to the attention of Congress is scheduled to present a full report to the House by Thursday, after it goes through a classification review.
The House will bring together all of its committee findings to the Judiciary Committee who will then have to vote on the articles of impeachment. If it passes in the committee, the vote will then go to the floor of the House and will need a majority vote out of the 435 members to impeach. But, the proceedings would then move to the Senate for a conviction and a removal, which will be overseen by Supreme Court Justice John Roberts. To pass, the Senate requires two-thirds of the majority vote. Which means out of 100 senators, 67 would have to vote in favor.
Keep in mind, a sitting president has never faced conviction in the Senate to be officially removed from office.
Most of Black Twitter is hungover today from their #ImpeachmentParty last night, but everyday new information will make this a very long ride.
All in all, stay tuned.