World An impeachment for the 21st century

An impeachment for the 21st century


Pedro Rodriguez

Updated:01/16/2020 02: 02h


Part of the longevity of the Constitution assumed by the United States since 1787 is linked to its conciseness. With regard to the "impeachment", the rules of the constitutional game of this veteran democracy are limited to indicating where the political trial against presidents, vice presidents and other civil officers who have overwhelmed their privileged positions in the government and the federal judiciary takes place. On ways and times, the Magna Carta does not say much more.

All this hazy imprecision has been complicated by a procedural battle waged by a sufficient number of Republicans loyal to Trump and the Democratic majority that controls the Lower House. Finally, after almost a month of impasse, the process has been reactivated. The accusations made against the president – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – have been remitted from the House of Representatives to the Senate. A physically short distance in the majestic Capitol building but politically huge.

This new scenario assumes that the political trial against Trump will start next week, although a two-thirds majority is not glimpsed beforehand to condemn and disable the president. Despite the intense comparisons, Trump's predicament has nothing to do with that of Nixon, who opted for resignation in the face of a conviction verdict. In 1974, the nixonian drama was sentenced by a lousy economic scenario, bankruptcy in the loyalty of the Republicans to its president and a monolithic media structure.

In comparison, Donald Trump comes with all of winning his "impeachment." The show that Washington will offer from next time is one hundred percent political and very little judicial. The senators are jurors and judges, there are no rigorous probative criteria, the punishment is not criminal and there is no appeal. It is rather a more or less controlled constitutional crisis that is resolved with the help of social networks and much electoral calculation in a deeply fractured country.

Pedro RodriguezCollaboratorPedro Rodriguez



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