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article imageOp-Ed: Trump impeachment enquiry announced by Pelosi

By Paul Wallis     Sep 24, 2019 in Politics
Washington - Well, they’ve been talking about it for years, but now it’s a reality. Trump is to be subject of an impeachment enquiry for “enlisting a foreign power to help him politically”. It’s a very serious charge.
Trump is accused of pressuring the Ukraine to investigate a political opponent, Joe Biden and his son. What happens next will be based on the enquiry. Impeachment, if achieved, would be a fatal blow to Trump. A legislative vote can remove him from office, and there are big numbers in Congress now willing to do that.
The move comes after a presidency-long range of accusations of improper conduct of foreign affairs. The use of foreign powers for personal political gain, however, is unconstitutional, specifically prohibited by the United States Constitution.
The evidence against Trump is based on a whistle-blower’s complaint. Trump denies any impropriety. Trump said he’d release a transcript, but the Democrats wanted the full complaint, not an edited version of it. At an impasse, the impeachment move is probably the only way to secure the full text of the complaint.
Precedents and rulings on impeachment don’t simplify the issue, but they do make it clear that the use or aid of any foreign power for personal or political gain is unconstitutional. A rumour of an offer of “$400 million in aid for damaging information” about Mr Biden doesn’t help. The Trump era started with a serious stain in allegations of foreign intervention in the 2016 election, and the stench remains.
No trivial issue for Trump
Even allowing for Trump’s abrasive style, this impeachment is no joke. He could lose the presidency. He could also lose any immunity he currently has from legal action by his armies of litigants.
Further issues may also arise. Trump has been highly reluctant to provide some information throughout his tenure. It’s unlikely that this information can or will remain under wraps if he’s impeached.
2020, the editor’s cut
Impeachment is likely to make the 2020 elections extremely polarizing. Trump can only fall back on his 2016 mantras and supporters. That probably won’t be enough. With a 62% disapproval rating, however, and some Republicans effectively disenfranchised due to a rework of nomination rules in some states, his overall support has definitely slipped, perhaps severely.
The damage to America created by Trump-style polarization, however, is unfathomable. In this case, it could be tragic. The “over the horizon” right, although mainly comprised of trivial mediocrities, has always tended to extreme responses on political issues. An impeachment could lead to any range of responses, from assassination attempts to riots and deaths.
The next year will see American politics polarized as never before. That’s not good news for the world. The Disunited States has been an abject failure, and disunity is exactly what this situation will cause.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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