Washington After weeks of tactics, Nancy Pelosi cleared the way for Donald Trump's trial on Wednesday. "The president violated his oath of office, undermined our national security, and jeopardized the integrity of our elections," said the Democratic majority leader of the US House of Representatives. And she added, “The President has attempted to use the budget process as his own ATM to approve or withhold payment that Congress has approved to use for his personal and political benefit.
The MPs decided with the majority of the Democrats to transfer the charges against Trump to the Senate and to send seven MPs to represent the charges there in the trial against the President.
Trump is the third president in American history after Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 to face impeachment. Richard Nixon, who was also threatened by the Watergate scandal, escaped the so-called impeachment in the 1970s by a resignation forced by his party colleagues.
The trial in the Senate, in which the Republicans have a majority, is expected to begin next Tuesday. Although majority leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly made it unmistakably clear that the lawsuit will be dismissed, less than ten months before the elections, the process, the president believes, is unpredictable. The most important questions and answers.
What are the charges against Trump?
After hearing around 20 witnesses on the House Secret Service and Justice Committee, the Democrats accused the president of two things: abuse of power and interference with the Congressional investigation. The Democrats had long argued over whether they would also accuse Trump of bribery. But Pelosi flinched at the last moment, obviously because the evidence didn't seem to be valid enough.
This is particularly relevant because the fact of “bribery” is explicitly mentioned in the constitution as an offense that justifies impeachment. One thing is certain: the House of Representatives must base the impeachment lawsuit on the constitution. It says: A president can "be removed from office on charges of conviction, treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors."
What are the specific allegations against the President?
The Democrats accuse Trump of putting pressure on Ukrainian President Wolodimir Selenski to start an investigation into Trump's political rival Joe Biden. From the Democrats' perspective, this means that Trump has urged a foreign actor to discredit a democratic candidate in order to gain advantages in the upcoming presidential election in November. This is illegal under US law.
The Democrats also accuse him of using almost $ 400 million in US military aid disbursement for Ukraine. And lastly, they accuse the President of blocking the House House investigation.
What are the main arguments of the Democrats and Republicans?
Trump has not only hindered the Congressional investigation and asked for campaign help abroad, but also endangered national security, the Democrats argue. Because he used the disbursement of US military aid to Ukraine as a leverage to gain personal benefit.
The Republicans see it this way: Since Donald Trump won the 2016 election, the Democrats have tried to get rid of a legitimately elected president – first in the alleged Russia affair, now in the Ukraine affair. But "despite years of witch hunt" (Trump interview), the Democrats have so far "not found a trace" of Trump's offense that justifies impeachment proceedings.
How do the lawyers see it?
Two lawyers, three opinions – this also applies to this impeachment. The fact is that the White House blocked the hearing of numerous witnesses during the House of Representatives hearing – such as that of chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. However, it is unclear whether this is enough to accuse the president of the charge of "obstruction", as it is called in English.
Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School, said during the trial that Trump was justifying the refusal to work with government secrets. Therefore, there can be no question of a "hindrance to congress work".
Another problem from the Democrats' perspective is the fact that Trump had the US military aid paid out and that the Ukrainian President Selenski publicly denied that Trump had pushed him. Professor Richard Briffault of Columbia Law School in New York, on the other hand, sees “undoubtedly strong evidence” of White House attempts to put pressure on the Ukrainian government.
The actual process of the impeachment process will begin in the Senate next week. The precondition for this was already given by the House of Representatives decision of December 18 to indict the President. However, Nancy Pelosi had hesitated four weeks to formally forward the complaints to the Senate, which is why the Senate process is only now beginning.
The proceedings are chaired by John Roberts, the Supreme Court's chief judge, who does not rule, however. The Democrats will read the indictment there and present their evidence. You play the role of prosecutor. The Republicans then make the counter-plea. The 100 senators, i.e. Democrats and Republicans together, then decide in the end as a jury on the future of the President.
"It's a mix of political and legal processes," says Professor Briffault. According to the constitution, the president can only be removed for very serious crimes, but "the constitution does not delegate this process to the courts, but to Congress," said the criminal lawyer, who is considered the leading expert in impeachment proceedings in the United States.
. (tagsToTranslate) Impeachment (t) Donald Trump (t) Nancy Pelosi (t) Adam Schiff (t) Mitch McConnell (t) USA (t) Senate (t) House of Representatives (t) Democrats (t) Republicans (t) Head of State ( t) Election (t) Election Campaign (t) Court (t) Domestic Policy (t) Politician (t) Parliament (t) Donald Trump (t) Mitch McConnell (t) Nancy Pelosi (t) John Bolton (t) Wolodimir Selenski (t ) Bill Clinton