The House of Representatives of the United States approved this Thursday to advance – although in practice it has been doing it for five weeks – an investigation process for the purpose of dismissal against President Donald Trump, and although in that body of the US Congress there is a Democratic majority , and therefore opposition to the president, who would agree with the official opening of a political trial (impeachment), in later phases – such as, for example, the Senate – things could be blocked, because there is a republican majority that moment is contrary to prosecute the president.
The president of the House, Nancy Pelosi, formally convened the process, as Republicans have complained that the investigation is done without approval through a voting process.
The process occurs at a time when the electoral race for the presidential elections that will be held on November 3, 2020 is already underway.RELATED
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Thus, it is unquestionable that the electoral campaign in which Trump is, since he wants to be re-elected, will be marked by the investigation of the House and the possible subsequent phases.
(Also read: Political trial of Trump, a controversial and dangerous shared risk)
Next, we present the steps that come in the investigation process, possible trial and eventual removal of the president of the United States.
1. The House of Representatives is now entering a recess in its normal activities of processing and approval of bills, but will continue to hold hearings and take testimonies behind closed doors with the people of the Government or that have to do with the president’s performance, in his request to the president of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, to investigate former vice president Joe Biden (who is a direct political rival to the presidency) and his son Hunter, in what would have been configured as an abuse of power and other irregularities.
The President of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky (i), and the President of the United States, Donald Trump (d), during a press conference at the UN.
This process of hearings and testimonies will be conducted in the face of public opinion, as they will be broadcast live on television.
The head of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, who is going to handle the process, is expected to call to declare the US ambassador in Ukraine, Bill Taylor; the former ambassador in the European country, Marie Yovanovitch, and the adviser on Ukraine in the National Security Council, Alexander Vindman, although he could also summon the former National Security ex-advisor, John Bolton, who until recently was one of the closest advisers to Trump. That testimony of Bolton is key.
To silence the Republicans, it was established that they can also summon witnesses and the president's lawyers can question and question those witnesses. That will be decided by the Democrats, who are a majority in the House.
That will take about a month.
2. Once that part is finished, the Intelligence Commission writes a report, and what it will say in the conclusions of its investigation goes to the Judicial Commission, also of the Chamber.
3. In the Judicial Commission more hearings are held, but already to determine what crimes and irregular behaviors the president could have committed and, in that way, raise the charges of dismissal.
Joe Biden (left), former vice president of the United States, and the president (right), Donald Trump, involved in a scandal.
4. Then, the crimes are submitted to a vote of the House and can be approved by simple majority.
5. If the crimes are approved, the actual phase of the political trial would come, which the Senate would do. Remember that Republicans, as they are a majority, will establish the process of the process.
The representatives to the Chamber act as prosecutors; Senators, like jurors. Trump would have the right to his lawyers and the president of the Supreme Court of Justice, John Glover Roberts, Jr., of Republican tendency, is the judge.
6. Then, Republicans take their time to advance the trial and define by vote the guilt of the president. 67 votes are needed for the removal of Donald Trump, from the set of 100 senators. At this time they are not even close to having the votes. There are 47 Democrats and 3 possible Republican votes that have shown their opposition to the president.
United States Congress
Paul J. Richards. AFP
Democrats hope that through public testimony, the information presented in the previous steps to public opinion will change their minds and pressure their legislators to vote in favor of dismissal.
According to the latest polls, there is currently a division of almost 50 to 50 percent between those who want and those who do not have a Trump impeachment political trial.
* With Sergio Gómez Maseri, correspondent for EL TIEMPO in Washington