Trump impeached

Extraordinary step to try gross abuse of power

Trump impeached

As the Democrats-dominated House of Representatives impeached Donald Trump on Wednesday, he became the third US President in history to be put on trial for removal from the high office over charges of a grave crime. However, cocksure of an acquittal next month in the other House of US Congress, the Senate, where his Republican party men hold sway, Trump was disdainfully dismissive of this ignominy heaped upon him. In his characteristic defiance of any finger-pointing aimed at his ways of functioning, Trump pooh-poohed the historic rebuke as a witch-hunt and hoax. With his scorn of the development, he has undermined Congress’ duty to uphold the constitution and serve as a check to presidential overreach.

Trump faces two articles of impeachment — one, for abuse of power and the other obstruction of Congress in the Ukraine scandal. He is accused of abusing his office to get a favour from Ukraine by asking it to initiate a corruption probe against his political rival Joe Biden. This proposed smear campaign was intended to make a dent in the opponent’s image. Otherwise, he threatened, he would withhold the $400 million military aid to Ukraine. However, this financial assistance was released when Congress acted after a whistleblower blew the lid off the scam. Subsequently, as some government officials testified that Trump had pressured Ukraine, the blame of jeopardising US national security stuck on him.

Now, as the impeachment proceedings unfold in January, they are fraught with a loss of face in the public eye for the President. With 2020 being the election year, the developments will play a major role in the already vitiated presidential election campaign. Only time will tell which party — Democrat or Republican — gains in the long term from the Congress investigation into the charge of gross misconduct by POTUS of perverting foreign policy for his political gain. Perhaps, eventually, Trump will actually be made to ‘feel like he is being impeached’. Both the other two Presidents impeached — Andrew Johnson (in 1868) and Bill Clinton (1998) — did not return to power.

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