To Impeach or Not To Impeach

“The actions taken to date by the president have seriously violated the Constitution,” Pelosi stated in a brief speech.


President Trump speaking at the 74th General Debate at the United Nations General Assembly on September 25th, 2019, where he addresses the issues related to the impeachment inquiry (Drew Angerer, Getty Images).

Bella Rock, Reporter

July 25th: the date that the infamous, controversy-sparking call between President Trump and Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelensky took place. Since this call, speculation has arisen that Trump supposedly pressured Zelensky to investigate Democratic Presidential candidate and Trump’s political rival, Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Debate around this call blew up when a whistleblower report was released on August 12th. According to the Washington Post, the whistleblower has stated that the White House went outside of the normal protocol to keep officials from reviewing the rough transcript of the July 25th phone call, that was released on September 25th.

The whistleblower complaint states that all transcripts of the call were put on “lock-down.”

Especially the word for word transcript, with the complaint reporting that said transcript was archived in a computer system designated for “codeword-level intelligence information.”

The complaint goes on to list many details that shed light on potential abnormal treatment of the transcript, such as the inclusion of ellipses, most commonly used for the indication of deletion of words or phrases, throughout the document – which according to both current and former officials isn’t within the normal protocol of transcriptions.

Additionally, there has been a fair amount of deliberation if Trump ever used the potential military aid in exchange for Zelensky to open the investigations he requested.

While the complaint doesn’t go into much depth on the issue, the report does say:

“During this same time frame, multiple U.S. officials told me that the Ukrainian leadership was led to believe that a meeting between the President and President Zelensky would depend on whether Zelensky showed willingness to ‘play ball’ on the issues that had been publicly aired by Lutsenko [former Ukraine Prosecutor General] and Giuliani [Trump’s personal lawyer].”

However, the whistleblower also includes that there is no clarity that Ukrainian leadership ever received this message, and if they did, when it was received.

In regards to the potential military aid, as reported in the New York Times, President Trump directed Mick Mulvaney, current White House Chief of Staff, to pause over $391 million in military assistance directed towards Ukraine just days before his call with Zelensky.

The Trump administration later unfroze the assets as of September, when accusations were emerging.

As a result of all this, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on September 24th, the beginning of an official impeachment investigation against President Trump. “The actions taken to date by the president have seriously violated the Constitution,” Pelosi stated in a brief speech. She went on to say that President Trump, “must be held accountable — no one is above the law.”

While an investigation has been announced, this doesn’t necessarily mean the House will vote to charge Trump with high crimes and misdemeanors. It is even less likely that the Republican-controlled Senate will vote in favor of his removal.

At the basis of this debate, the Democratic side argues that Trump, as stated in the Washington Post, tried to seek Zelensky’s help in aiding him politically.

However, those in support of Trump argue that any attempts by Trump to get Ukraine to investigate the situation around Biden were in the interest of general corruption, not undermining Biden.