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What's Going on: The Trump Administration and Impeachment

Every week Samuel and Lorenzo take on the challenge to explain to the students of Runnymede College what is really going on in the strange and wonderful world of politics.

The campaigns have started. The electoral race is getting fiercer and fiercer. Already nineteen Democrats are running for president including Joe Biden (the front runner), Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Beto O'Rourke. Republicans running include Donald Trump and someone else. It is understandable that the sitting president would feel threatened by the overwhelming amount of competitors for the presidency. In this article, I will write about how his necessity to stay in control has led him to break the law (more than he already has). However, before I write about this, I must talk about Hunter Biden.

Robert Hunter Biden (born February 4th 1970) is the son of former vice-president Joe Biden and the co-founder of an international consulting firm called Rosemont Seneca Partners. This firm began working for a Ukrainian gas company called Burisma Holdings in 2014. At this time, back in America, Joe Biden was heading the Obama administration's efforts to suppress corruption in Ukraine. Joe Biden communicated with the Ukrainian government and asked them to remove a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating, get this, Burisma Holdings. Although this act was frowned upon by ethics watchdogs, there was no legal encroachment involved. Biden had objective reasons to suggest the removal of said prosecutor for he was genuinely corrupt (for reasons that I don't have time to get into).

This scandal was then gone with the wind, forgotten, lost, stuck in 2014, until now. With so many Democratic candidates nibbling at his presidency, Trump finally snapped, and tried to take his largest threat down. Yet before I tell you about this I should tell you about Crimea. (I do promise that I will reach the impeachment).

Crimea is a province in Ukraine. It used to belong to Russia in the days of the Soviet Union. In March 2014, President Vladimir Putin took action and invaded Crimea. He literally took over a part of Ukraine like it was nothing. This act was heavily opposed by the organisations such as the UN, NATO and the EU and Russia faced many trade sanctions. Also, Ukraine has been receiving money to defend themselves from Russia and that money has been coming from countries such as those in the EU. The USA has also been frequently sending Ukraine funds and they have been doing this for over 5 years. In fact, America was to send Ukraine 500,000 dollars. However this funding was stalled by Trump. Why? To manipulate the president of Ukraine.

During a phone-call with the President of Ukraine, Trump repeatedly mentioned how much money they were supposed to send, and how much America does for Ukraine. And afterwards, Trump said 'I would like you to do me favour though'. Then, Mr. Trump proceeded to ask Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and possibly dig up some dirt on the Burisma Holdings scandal. Although a quid pro quo is not explicit, it's glaringly obvious. Asking a foreign country to investigate a political rival and his son is already illegal, but Trump basically said that if Ukraine doesn’t investigate Biden, they will not receive American support. That’s blackmail! And therefore even more illegal! So yeah, that's why impeachment is seen as a viable option in the Democratic House.

But, what is impeachment? The American legislative system is called Congress, and it is made up of two branches: the House and the Senate. The House is mainly Democratic congressmen and it is there where they begin an impeachment inquiry. An impeachment inquiry is when the House conducts a series of investigations into the alleged crime. They have subpoena power, which means they have a right to call anyone to testify or they can call to see any document necessary for investigating the crime.

This process has already begun. And during this process, Trump, yet again, broke the law. When the House subpoenaed certain staff members belonging to the Trump Administration, Trump refrained them from going. He ordered them to deny the legal rights of the House to subpoena ANYONE who they thought necessary. Trump also prevented the House from getting their hands on certain documents.

This behaviour is a crime. It’s called obstruction of justice. Therefore the impeachment inquiry may consider accusing him of obstruction of justice as well. Once the House believes it has sufficient evidence, they will vote on whether to take this case to the Senate. The Senate is then to vote (yet again) on whether to hold a trial. Then, if a trial is held, it is held in the Senate. Due to the fact that the Senate is mainly Republican, the impeachment will be a very delicate matter to handle.

In conclusion, the impeachment of President Donald Trump has proved to be necessary yet not probable. His ties to Ukraine are an impeachable offence; however the Republican Senate is unlikely to allow the trial.

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