On September 24, 2019, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump. This is a result of the Whistleblower complaint which dominated news outlets in the days leading up to the formal inquiry. A conversation between Donald Trump and the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, sparked a whistleblower to report President Trump to the Inspector General, alleging that he abused his power through U.S. foreign policy for political gain by requesting that Ukraine investigate the activities of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son (The Washington Post). Sidney Birnberg, a senior at Ramapo comments “after reading the whistleblower complaint it seems clear to me that the law was violated.” Since this complaint, the situation has quickly escalated into the impeachment process which Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley has called “far worse than Watergate,” in comparison to the scandal which led to Richard Nixon’s resignation from the presidency (CNN).
Soon after the inquiry was announced, Sen. Robert Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, demanded information from Vice President Pence and Energy Secretary Rick Perry on their knowledge of Donald Trump’s relations with Ukraine, followed by a subpoena to President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani for any
documents related to Ukraine (CNN). In response, the President tweeted “The Greatest Witch Hunt in the history of our Country!” However, this did not stop Congress from pressing on with the process. The House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight and Reform committees called upon five State Department officials, along with people of importance in Ukraine, to give depositions over the next two weeks (The Washington Post). According to The Washington Post, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was on the phone call between President Trump and Ukraine, retaliated by saying he would “not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State.” Pompeo is not the only person who had a
problem with the impeachment inquiry. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy requested the inquiry be suspended. Nancy Pelosi wrote a letter back stating, “We hope you and other Republicans share our commitment to following the facts, upholding the Constitution, protecting our national security, and defending the integrity of our elections at such a serious moment in our nation’s history” (The Washington Post).
Recently on Thursday October 3rd, Kurt Volker, a former administration envoy to Ukraine, appeared before the three committees to give his deposition. Although the deposition occurred behind closed doors, according to CNN, Volker “told House investigators that he warned Ukraine’s leadership not to interfere in US politics in a conversation that followed a phone call between President Trump and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, according to two sources familiar with the testimony.” Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is also scheduled to appear on October 11th for her deposition. After Volker’s testimony, President Trump spoke out in Florida against the Democratic Party declaring, “That’s why they do the impeachment crap, because they know they can’t beat us fairly,” (CNN). Everyday there is a new development, and although the impeachment process will likely take months, Americans are faced with the question: Could President Trump be the third president in history to be impeached?
In Photo: The Trump Impeachment Inquiry, Photo Credit: CNN
By Eden Osiason