NY. On only this fourth occasion in the history of this country in which a president is under investigation by Congress to evaluate and formulate charges that merit his impeachment, impeachment, this Wednesday public hearings begin in the House of Representatives where the political confrontation between Democrats and Republicans, with severe consequences for both, will be a live national show.
After seven weeks of closed-door hearings before three committees of the lower house – controlled by the Democrats – the first public sessions will be held before the Intelligence Committee where three career diplomats will attend this week and in their private sessions with legislators they have already corroborated some of the versions that implicate Trump in abuse of his executive power.
The epicenter of the accusations by the Democrats is that Trump abused his power by pressuring a foreign power – in this case Ukraine – to interfere with the 2020 US electoral process by announcing an investigation against Joe Biden, Trump's political rival as a Democratic candidate, and his son and against the Democratic Party.RELATED
Although much of the information and testimonies in closed-door sessions are known, with public hearings, Americans will be able to see and hear the voices of witnesses who have nurtured the Democratic narrative about the violations committed by Trump, along with the versions and perhaps witnesses to disqualify all this presented by Republicans.
The Intelligence Committee composed of 13 Democrats and 9 Republicans will begin their sessions under rules where both sides will be able to participate and interrogate the witnesses – but the Democrats as a majority are those who have the last word in whom to convene as witnesses and how to proceed.
At the end of this phase, the Intelligence Committee concludes its sessions with a report that it transfers to the Judiciary Committee. This committee will evaluate the evidence and offer the White House legal representation to present its defense while determining the formulation of charges that merit the removal of the president.
That process ends with the vote of approval of the charges, called "articles of impeachment", by the plenary of the lower house and its submission to the Senate, which would be held as a tribunal for the political trial.
The decision to proceed to the public sessions indicates that the Democratic leadership is confident that it already has enough evidence to proceed towards the formulation of multiple serious charges, and they bet that the images of the process transmitted live will cause Watergate memories.
Republicans will continue to disqualify the process itself and attack the credibility of the messengers, by continuing to argue that this is only a partial political “show” mounted by enemies of a president who insists that he made everything “perfect” and that he is the most “transparent” president "Never seen.
Moreover, for now they have the certainty that if Trump is formally accused, he will be exonerated by the Senate, where the political trial is conducted, which is under the control of the Republican majority.
In fact, some strategists and the president himself bet that if this culminates in the exoneration, that will benefit the re-election campaign by demonstrating that Trump triumphed over the "witch hunt" launched by the Democrats.
However, the investigation along with Trump's always chaotic behavior is nurturing conflicts that could undermine loyalties within his own circle, with some possibly abandoning the ship if it seems that it could sink. In fact, there is already paranoia among some, with concerns about conflicts with former advisors such as John Bolton, Steve Bannon, or internal conflicts between the chief of staff and the White House lawyer, not to mention relations with corrupt figures of the lawyer Trump staff, Rudolph Giuliani.
In every live show, even with very rehearsed and sophisticated choreographies, there are usually surprises.