‘Whether US voters Believe Trump Pushed Boundaries of Executive Power Will Be Clear in 2020’ - Prof

© REUTERS / LOREN ELLIOTTU.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the Israeli American Council National Summit in Hollywood, Florida
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the Israeli American Council National Summit in Hollywood, Florida - Sputnik International
US President Donald Trump has labelled the articles of impeachment “flimsy, pathetic, ridiculous” just hours after the House Democratic leaders announced two articles of impeachment against him.

Speaking to his supporters at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania Trump blasted the Democrat-led inquiry as “the lightest, weakest impeachment” that the US has ever had.

The House Democrats unveiled two articles on Tuesday accusing the President of abuse of power for “corruptly soliciting” election assistance from Ukraine and obstruction of Congress during the inquiry.

Article I: Abuse of power

The Democrats have suggested that Trump had abused his power when he allegedly pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his family during a July 25 phone conversation.

“Using the powers of his high office, President Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States Presidential election,” Article I says.

“He did so through a scheme or course of conduct that included soliciting the Government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations that would benefit his reelection, harm the election prospects of a political opponent, and influence the 2020 United States Presidential election to his advantage,” it states.

Article I also says that Trump’s actions “compromised the national security of the United States and undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process.”

Trump has also been accused of withholding $391 million in “vital military and security assistance” to Kiev using it as a tool to manipulate Ukraine in the alleged pressure campaign.

Article II: Obstruction of Congress

During the impeachment inquiry Trump, members of his administration and associates, have received subpoenas from the House Democrats responsible for the investigation but refused to comply with them, something which the Committee viewed as an obstruction of Congress.

"Donald J. Trump has directed the unprecedented, categorical, and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives pursuant to its Power of Impeachment,” Article II reads.

Trump also aimed to cover up his own “repeated misconduct and to seize and control the power of impeachment,” the resolution says.

What’s Next?

The Judiciary Committee is expected to send articles of impeachment to the Democrat-controlled House for an impeach vote after all the amendments are made.

If the House of Representatives votes in favour of impeaching Trump (it is expected to happen before Christmas), then a trial in the Senate will follow in January.

But analysts believe that Republicans will stay loyal to Trump and acquit him in the Senate, where they hold a majority, while the Democrats will vote to impeach him in the House of Representatives on those charges.

“The Republican majority in the Senate will judge that he was primarily motivated by legitimate foreign policy concerns and concerns to protect executive authority granted by the Constitution, not, as Democrats in the House contend, by a desire to harm domestic political opponents and by contempt for the legitimate authority of Congress,” Rogers Smith, a Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science; Immediate Past President of the American Political Science Association, noted.

“It’s likely that most Republicans think the President did have partisan motives and did push the boundaries of executive power. They simply don’t believe he did so in ways that are serious enough to justify removal from office. Whether most American voters agree will become clear in the 2020 election,” Smith added.

While Kyle C. Kopko, Ph.D., an associate Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, Research, and Planning, Associate Professor of Political Science, shared similar views oh how events will unfold in the coming weeks and months.

“I expect that the vote will occur primarily along party lines, where Democrats will support the articles, and Republicans will oppose them.”

According to Mr Kopko, it is unlikely that the Senate will secure the two-thirds vote needed to convict President Trump and remove him from office. 

“Unless there is compelling evidence offered in the Senate, and this would have to be new evidence that was not heard in the House, I would expect a not guilty verdict sometime in January or February,” he concluded.

How it Started

On 24 September House Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially launched a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump that centred around a whistleblower complaint into Trump’s July phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart. The Democrats accused Trump of betraying his oath suggesting he pressured Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter over their business dealings in Ukraine.

Trump has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and has called the impeachment inquiry a witch hunt.

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