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After an intense debate, which revealed the deep political division that exists in the United States, – both among political leaders and among citizens – the Judicial Committee of the House of Representatives approved by 23 votes in favor and 17 against, present to the plenary of that legislative branch for approval between Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, two articles to accuse President Donald Trump of abusing the power of his high endowment, submitting him to political trial and raising his dismissal.
It is the fourth time in the history of the United States that an attempt is made to dismiss a President, although in one of the cases – that of Richard Nixon – the political trial was not carried out, due to the fact that the president presented his resignation when he learned that He only had the support of four senators.
The approval of the two articles that raise the impeachment is an omen of what will happen in the plenary of the House of Representatives of 435 members this week, where the Democratic Party is a majority and it is estimated that it will vote in favor of entrusting to the Senate the completion from the Trump trial, whose nearly three years in the White House have exacerbated the country's political division.
Trump faces two charges of political trial in the House of Representatives, one for abuse of power and one for obstruction of Congress.
If Trump is finally indicted by the House, he will be subjected to a trial in the Senate, where Republicans currently have 53 seats in front of 47 Democrats. The US Constitution requires a qualified two-thirds majority to convict a person who has been charged.
Donald Trump faces two charges of political trial in the House of Representatives. Photo: AFP
Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, describes the reasons for dismissing a president. "The president, vice president and all civil servants of the United States will be removed from office by political trial, and conviction of treason, bribery and other major crimes and misdemeanors," he says.
The purpose of the founders and constituents of the United States was to promote the impeachment of the President if he commits abuse of power. That is the true meaning of the article included in the constitutional text.
House lawmakers Jerry Nadler, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Adam Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, both Democrats, described the two charges of political trial at a press conference on Tuesday. These are:
1. Abuse of power
Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenski, to announce an investigation for alleged corruption over former vice president Joe Biden, his potential rival to the Democratic Party in the 2020 presidential elections.
"It is a crime deserving of political judgment that the president exercises the powers of his public office to obtain an inappropriate personal benefit while ignoring or damaging the national interest," Nadler said. "That is exactly what President Trump did when he requested and pressured Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 presidential elections," he said.
Schiff said Trump "abused the power of his office by conditioning two official acts for Ukraine to help him be reelected: the delivery of hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid that the nation desperately needed to face Russia and the separatist groups that they respond to that country, and a White House meeting with an ally trying to defend against Russian aggression. ”
"In doing so, it undermined our national security and the integrity of our next elections," Schiff said.
2. Obstruction of the Congress.
President Trump's refusal to comply with the Congressional subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives investigators, who at the end of September began to assess whether there were merits to subject the president to a political trial in the Ukrainian case, constitutes the basis of the second charge of the accusation, for obstruction of the Congress. "President Trump made an unprecedented, categorical and indiscriminate challenge of political trial investigation," Nadler said.
The House of Representatives Intelligence Committee's report on the investigation for the political trial accused Trump of ordering public distributions and federal officials to ignore requests for voluntary submission of documents and not abide by the Congressional subpoenas to provide records. and other data.
Trump told federal government officials not to testify "even when forced," the Committee said.
"A president who declares himself above accountability, above the American people and above the power of political judgment in Congress … is a president who sees himself above the law," Nadler added. . "We must be clear, nobody, not even the president, is above the law."
The confrontational climate involved all the actions of legislators in the two commissions, including the meetings where testimonies were received on the case of Ukraine.
As they have been doing since the Judiciary Committee took over from the Intelligence Committee, last Thursday the Republican congressmen tried to torpedo the session, interrupting since the first intervention with procedural motions that they knew destined to fail. The rest was a staging of the theatrical arguments of the others for television, which continues to broadcast the sessions live.
Meanwhile, journalists' eyes traveled rhythmically, as in a tennis match, from the angry faces of the congressmen in possession of the word to the cell phone screens, bombarded by a furious tweeting activity of President Trump, unusual even for his standard fever: 48 tweets or retweets only in the first five hours of the session. The day would become, according to the Washington Post count, the most tweeted since he announced his candidacy for the presidency in 2015.
The Democrats, however, neutralized all attacks by Republicans against impeachment articles. As their amendments fell defeated by the Democratic majority, the only question was when the Republicans were going to give up and end the session.
Nancy Pelosi leads the Democratic Party in Congress. Photo: Reuters
Outside the courtroom where the Judicial Committee deliberates, the president of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, was confident that the loose democratic majority will avoid surprises and allow this week to proceed with the political trial, although she recalled that it is the congressmen who, individually, they must examine the evidence and decide for themselves.
Although information from The Washington Post, probing sources in the lower house protected by anonymity, said that half a dozen Democratic congressmen are likely to vote against impeachment. These are legislators who are running for re-election next year in districts that in the 2016 presidential elections voted Republican and fear that supporting the process will make them seem extremist to moderate voters. That would put his reelection at risk. They would not be enough to prevent the political trial from moving forward and having to vote in the Senate, but it is certainly not good news for the Democrats.
Where there is no hint of significant fissures is in the Republican ranks. Which indicates that, when the Senate becomes the jury that decides whether to dismiss President Trump or not, the Democrats will have a hard time getting the necessary two-thirds majority (67 votes) or, what is the same, getting a Twenty Republican senators vote against the president whom they have so far defended vigorously.
"They are the game of deceit and lie"
President Donald Trump has taken a challenging attitude to the Democratic Party's proposal to make the political trial and try to dismiss him.
The president maintains that at all times he has acted correctly and without departing from the rules, always thinking in the best interests of the United States and its citizens. He emphasizes that he had that same position in the telephone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodimir Zelenski, on July 25 of this year, which is questioned by the Democrats and taken as the basis and basis of the request for political trial. "The conversation was perfect," Trump reiterates every time they ask him about it.
In an action aimed at clearing up doubts, Trump disseminated a transcript of the telephone conversation with Zelenski and argues that when reading the development of the dialogue he warns that he did not ask Zelenski to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter in exchange for Deliver military aid. He states that there was no quid pro quo (making an order in exchange for something) and that President Zelenski himself declared that he never felt pressured by Trump.
Beyond the dialogue with Zelenski, there is a fact that stands out: few elected presidents faced rumors of political judgment as early as Trump. Days after his election in 2016, speculation began due to his many ethical problems.
Trump now complains that the Democrats have tried to act against him from the beginning and are only using the Ukrainian issue as a pretext, but opponents claim that Trump has violated the rules so many times that he himself sought it.
Last week, in one of the political acts he frequently performs – this time it was in the city of Hershey, Pennsylvania – the president ratified his attacks on the Democrats by pointing out that “throughout these three years they have done nothing in benefit of the United States and its citizens ”and have dedicated all their efforts to sabotage their government. He stressed that, despite this obstruction, he has achieved that the US economy is growing, with a very low unemployment rate and the creation of thousands of jobs.
On Friday, he said that the Democrats "are the party of lies and deception."