The Democratic opposition announced today that it will open an impeachment investigation against President Donald Trump for having betrayed national security, following the revelation that he blocked aid funds to Ukraine and that he had coerced Kiev into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his family.
Lower House Speaker Democrat Nancy Pelosi, was charged from Congress with announcing and justifying the controversial measure taken by liberal legislators.
“Today I announce that the House of Representatives is officially initiating an impeachment investigation,” Pelosi said in a press statement after meeting with the House Democratic caucus.
“The president must be held accountable; no one is above the law,” she added.
Pelosi defended her decision by asserting that Trump’s actions have been a “betrayal of his oath of office, national security and the integrity of the election”.
Trump reacted quickly to Pelosi’s announcement and called the start of the investigation to open a political trial against him “garbage” and “witch-hunt”.
“Such an important day at the United Nations, so much work and so much success, and the Democrats had to ruin it on purpose and despise it with more witch-hunt garbage in breaking news. Too bad for our country,” tweet Trump from New York.
According to media estimates, 163 of the 235 Democratic legislators in the Lower House have already made public their support for the impeachment process.
It would take 218 votes, a simple majority, from the House of Representatives, controlled by progressives, to initiate the procedure. However, the Republican dominance in the Senate, which must also approve it, means that the initiative would not succeed.
Although Pelosi had so far been reluctant to make a political judgment because she considered it “extremely divisive”, the Democratic leader considered that the “facts” prove the decision taken.
Before Pelosi’s appearance, Trump predicted that a political trial could benefit him for the 2020 elections.
“Our country is doing better than ever and they (Democrats) are going to lose the elections and they invented this,” the president told reporters.
The announcement of an impeachment proceeding follows the revelation that Trump blocked aid funds to Ukraine and would have coerced that country into investigating Biden and his family.
Over the past few days, details of Trump’s telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenski at the end of July have been leaking.
The White House tenant said today that he has ordered the “complete” and “declassified” transcript of his call with Zelenski to be released Wednesday, in an attempt to contain the political turmoil generated in recent days.
“When they see (the content of) the call, which I assume they will see at some point, they will understand. The call was perfect. It couldn’t have been nicer,” Trump said on Twitter.
He later tweet again to report: “Secretary of State (Mike) Pompeo received permission from the Ukrainian government to publish the transcript of the phone call I had with his president. They also don’t know what the big problem is – a total Democratic Witch Hunt Scam,” he said.
Last Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump went so far as to ask Zelenski up to eight times to work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to investigate Hunter Biden, Biden’s son, whom he accuses of corruption in Ukraine.
This revelation came after an internal complaint filed by a member of U.S. intelligence about Trump’s exchange with a foreign leader.
On Monday, The Washington Post reported that Trump ordered his chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to block payments of nearly $400 million to Ukraine before talking to Zelenski.
The funds, $250 million from the Pentagon for weapons and $141 million for maritime security, both approved by Congress, were finally transferred to Ukraine on Sept. 11.
Three presidents have faced impeachment in U.S. history and two were acquitted: Andrew Johnson, in 1868; Bill Clinton, between 1998 and 1999; and Richard Nixon, who resigned in 1974 after the Watergate scandal process started.