Donald Trump in a file image. On video, the keys to Trump's impeachment and the Ukrainian plot. AFP | DANIEL CASTRESANA
The investigation for the impeachment or dismissal of Donald Trump for the scandal of Ukraine is entering a new phase similar to that of a parliamentary trial, with public hearings and the right to a formal defense. Congress is scheduled for Thursday the first formal vote to support the process and approve the rules of the game. The session will take place after a key statement: that of a member of the White House who warned of the president's maneuvers with Kiev.
The Democrats have prepared a resolution that formalizes the open process against the president, which will force for the first time all congressmen to publicly pronounce on the investigation, which has just turned a month. Some members of the party, the most centrist, have shown suspicions in the past about this extraordinary step – which seeks the removal of a president in case of crimes or serious offenses – and, among Republicans, it remains to be seen if anyone decides to demarcate from the majority and supports research.RELATED
The president of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, activated the process on September 24 by transcending Trump's maneuvers to try to get Ukraine to investigate her political rival, former vice president Joe Biden, and his son for his business in the country, which would harm the Biden candidate electorally. The string of appearances since then, behind closed doors, have revealed so far that Trump used a parallel diplomacy – in which his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, played a fundamental role – to influence Kiev.
If the resolution goes ahead as drafted, there will probably be public hearings of some relevant witnesses who have already declared in private; and the lawyers of the president may carry out a formal defense, witnesses may be examined and other witnesses may be called.
One of the last, Colonel Alexander Vindman raised the temperature of the Capitol on Tuesday for who he is and for what he told. A member of the National Security Council and an expert in Ukraine, Vindman was the first active member of the White House to testify against Trump and warned that the president asked another country to investigate an American politician. The colonel listened live to the already famous telephone conversation between his boss and the Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, in which the American asked him the “favor” of having an eye on the Democrat Biden and his son, who worked for a company of gas in the country when the father was vice president.
"I didn't think it was appropriate to ask a foreign government to investigate a US citizen, and I was concerned about the implications of Ukraine's support for the US government," Vindman said in his initial written statement to the Capitol. Then, during the questions, the witness added other troubling details, according to anonymous sources cited by local media.
The colonel says that the transcript of the call made by White House officials – a common practice – omitted elements he considered important, such as Trump's assertion that there were recordings of Biden talking about corruption or the mention by Zelenski of the name of the gas company Burisma Holdings. Vindman notes that he tried unsuccessfully to correct that transcript.
These are some of the statements that, from now on, Americans can get to know first hand. Republicans had been demanding a process with more guarantees for Trump for some time. White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham considered Thursday's vote as recognition that the Democrats "are carrying out an unauthorized removal process without giving the president due process, and that his secret, murky statements, to closed door, they are illegitimate. ”
Nancy Pelosi, on the other hand, explained that they were taking the step “to eliminate any doubt about whether the Trump administration can retain documents, avoid witness statements, ignore duly authorized citations or continue obstructing the House of Representatives.”
With the resolution of the Democrats, the House Intelligence Committee will host several public hearings and prepare a report with the main conclusions that will be passed to the Justice Committee. The latter is the one who will make his recommendation on whether there are grounds to accuse the president of any crime, although he may also request additional statements or evidence. The final decision is taken in the Senate, a Republican majority.
Liz Cheney goes on defense
of the military decorated
The testimony given by the lieutenant colonel of the United States Army Alexander Vindman has reported harsh criticism from members of the Republican Party and media related to the policies of the White House of Donald Trump. If some congressmen questioned the patriotism of the man who has a Purple Cross for his courage in combat, in the Fox chain they went a little further and, political commentator Laura Ingraham even hinted that Vindman could be a double agent working to The Ukrainian Government
In defense of the military, Liz Cheney, Republican representative for Wyoming and eldest daughter of the most powerful and perhaps most criticized vice president in the history of the United States, Dick Cheney. Cheney condemned the attacks of which the military laureate was being victim and described them as shameful. "It is shameful to question patriotism and dedication to the country of people like Lieutenant Colonel Vindman," Cheney said.