Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have officially impeached the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, over an interpretation of a 30-minute phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The vote in the House took place after around 10 hours of debate on the floor, after a near-three month process, and just one day shy of the 21-year anniversary of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton – another of only three Presidents ever impeached.
The two articles of impeachment passed as follows:
Article 1: Abuse of Power: 230 YEA vs 197 NAY vs 1 PRESENT
Two Democrats – Petersen and Van Drew voted ‘NAY’ on Abuse of Power while one – believed to be Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard – simply voted “Present” – a form of abstention.
Article 2: Obstruction of Congress: 229 YEA vs 198 NAY vs 1 PRESENT
Three Democrats – Petersen, Van Drew, and Golden voted ‘No’ on Obstruction of Congress. Tulsi Gabbard voted “Present”.
The news came as President Trump rallied amongst thousands of supporters in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Speaking from the podium, Trump declared, “It doesn’t feel like we’re being impeached!” The President also celebrated the unity of the Republican Party in the vote, while Democrats suffered an albeit small dissent.
The articles of impeachment will now be forwarded to the Senate, though Speaker Pelosi has refused to lay out a timeline on the matter.
THE STORY SO FAR.
Trump joins Andrew Johnson (impeached in 1868) and Clinton (1999) as the third ever U.S. President to be impeached. No President has ever been removed from office as a result of impeachment. While President Nixon was the subject of impeachment proceedings, he resigned from office before the Senate trial portion of the process.
The Articles of Impeachment written by Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the aid of her committee chairmen Rep. Jerry Nadler and Rep. Adam Schiff are now expected to go to the Senate for a trial wherein Senators will serve as jurors, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN.
Following a report from an initially unknown “whistleblower” – now known to be a Democrat partisan activist within the CIA – Congressman Adam Schiff and House Democrats began an investigation into a July phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president.
The whistleblower worked with Democrats to make public the allegations that President Trump had inappropriately used his position of power to extract information valuable to President Trump’s run against potential Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
In reality, Trump had simply been urging Ukraine’s new president to investigate long-standing and well-established corruption that happened to involve Biden’s son Hunter Biden – who inexplicably sat on the board of a corrupt Ukrainian energy company while his father was Vice President, and amidst a time of serious turmoil in the Eastern European nation.
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President Trump was also acting on the information revealed in the Mueller Report, which established that attempts to influence the U.S. elections in 2016 spanned a number of international borders, including Russia, Ukraine, Great Britain, Australia, Italy, and beyond.
The Biden family’s profiteering in Ukraine – the world’s third most corrupt country – goes back to 2013 when Ukrainian protesters aided by the U.S. neoconservative establishment and the European Union removed the pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych from office. The country descended into crisis, and a number of leaders and would-be leaders have since come and gone.
In the intervening period, Hunter Biden found his way onto the board of Burisma – the Ukrainian state-owned energy company – that was allegedly paying him $50,000 a month despite having no experience in the industry.
House Democrats began the latest round of impeachment against President Trump after the Biden corruption was raised with the President of Ukraine, to be sure.
But the so-called “quid pro quo” narrative pushed by Democrats to allege President Trump’s urging of foreign interference in the U.S. elections of 2020 were shaky at best, and collapsed under public testimony in the months after the original “whistleblower” complaint.
Instead of hard evidence behind the so-called scheme, Democrats only elicited evidence that a number of bureaucrats “presumed” or “interpreted” President Trump’s words, rather than hearing for themselves that there was any direct attempt to extort, bribe, or cajole Ukrainian leaders into interfering in 2016.
But the Biden corruption was clear, as Joe Biden himself admitted during a conference for the Council of Foreign Relations in January 2018.
At the time, Biden boasted:
…I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. And I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from [then President] Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t.
So they said they had—they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.
The state prosecutor Biden wanted fired just so happened to be the same state prosecutor investigating his son – Hunter Biden’s – company, Burisma.
President Trump – as per his oath of office to defend the U.S. Constitution – wanted this investigated as a critical example of U.S. crony capitalism and a real quid pro quo used by the then Vice President in Europe’s most corrupt nation.
This terrified Democrats.
DEMS INVESTIGATE TRUMP FOR INVESTIGATING THEM.
The House of Representatives began with secretive depositions in the “SCIF” – the secure basement in the U.S. Capital – in mid-October.
The private hearings in front of mostly Democratic members heard from long-standing grudge-holders against President Trump: members of the establishment political class who have been aggrieved at Trump’s “America First” policies that have led to all-time economic highs, unemployment lows, and stock market robustness.
The political class also disagreed vehemently with Trump’s firm approach to a rising China; his renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the U.S. national interest; and his rising poll numbers with African-Americans and Hispanic Americans following criminal justice reform, and more.
Democrats in Congress had previously attempted to impeach Trump a number of times before the fall, with “Impeach Trump” rallies, political action committees, fundraising efforts, and bills before the House having been established since minutes after Trump’s election in 2016.
In late October, Congressman Matt Gaetz from Florida stormed the SCIF with other Congressmen, highlighting the secretive nature of the Democrats’ plan to remove a sitting President with their bureaucrat friends in tow.
The move forced Speaker Pelosi to shift to a public series of hearings, wherein the case the Democrats had made alongside the whistleblower fell apart.
They swiftly abandoned the “quid pro quo” narrative and moved onto allegations of “bribery” and “extortion”.
By the end of the hearings, these too had fallen apart.
By the time the impeachment hearings left Adam Schiff’s Intel Committee and moved to Jerry Nadler’s Judiciary Committee, it was clear the Democrats were not on firm ground.
When the Democrats brought four professors to the committee to testify about the need to impeach President Trump, they only allowed one who objected to the process. Professor Jonathan Turley called it “one of the thinnest records to ever go forward on impeachment”.
The other professors happened to include two Democrat Party donors – one with a background in praising Islamic Shariah law, and the other with a history of insulting President Trump and making racist comments about white people.
At this point, the proceedings both picked up in pace, and thinned in nature.
ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT.
By early December, Speaker Pelosi announced the drafting and eventually unveiled only two articles of impeachment against the U.S. President.
Much to the chagrin of the left-leaning media, the articles included no serious criminal charges against President Trump, but rather, the much flimsier “abuses of power” and “obstruction of Congress” charges.
Following the announcement, Democrats – especially those in swing districts – experienced major push back in townhall meetings up and down the country.
Polling began to suggest that far from the public supporting Pelosi’s process, most members of the public (including a significant percentage of Democrats) opposed the Speaker’s impeachment push and preferred to keep the President in office as a result of his significant achievements surrounding the U.S. economy.
While there were some moments of drama on the House floor ahead of the official impeachment vote, Democrats stuck to rhetoric while Republicans focused on the facts at hand: there was no quid pro quo; there was no bribery; there was no extortion; and there was no evidence to show that President Trump attempted to influence the 2020 election with Ukraine.
In the meantime, the whistleblower has not been heard from again, and the evidentiary record has led some Democrats to state they would only support one of two articles of impeachment.
The process now moves to the Senate, where some Democrat senators who are supposed to serve as jurors are actually running for President. This means they have a vested interest in the Senate trial. No normal court would allow them to serve as jurors. They’re compromised.
The Senate trial and how it will work is still the subject of much debate.
Some Republicans want a full trial to completely exonerate the President, while others want to dismiss the process outright so as not to give the partisan trial any credibility.
What we do know is that January’s calendar in the Senate has been cleared for a trial, and that witnesses will be called by both sides to prove their respective cases.
What happens next is in the hands of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and to some extent his Democrat counterpart Chuck Schumer.
A Senate trial is expected to begin in the first week of January.
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