Trump Impeachment Proceedings Are On
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Trump impeachment hearings over his administration’s refusal to release a whistleblower complaint about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
Following a tumultuous few days, Democratic leader and House speaker Nancy Pelosi was expected to announce on Tuesday that the House will launch a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, according to sources close to Pelosi who spoke to the N.Y. Times. Around 5 p.m. EST Pelosi did just that, broadcasting a formal announcement that the House of Representatives is bringing impeachment hearings against President Trump to be investigated by six investigative committees.
The Trump impeachment proceedings largely come in response to revelations from a whistleblower complaint that alleged President Trump sought the help of a foreign country for his own personal and political gain. The Trump administration has stonewalled the release of the whistleblower’s complaint to Congress but it reportedly accuses Trump of pressuring Ukraine into pursuing a corruption investigation into 2020 presidential contender and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump Administration Stonewalls Whistleblower Complaint
It is the Trump administration’s refusal to handover the whistleblower complaint that appears to have compelled Pelosi to begin Trump impeachment proceedings, despite her previous reluctance to go down such a path. In a letter to fellow House Democrats on Sunday, Pelosi referenced the national security implications and risks brought forth by the administration’s refusal to release the whistleblower complaint:
“The Intelligence Community Inspector General, who was appointed by President Trump, has determined that the complaint is both of ‘urgent concern and credible,’ and its disclosure ‘relates to one of the most significant and important of the Director of National Intelligence’ s responsibilities to the American people.’
“The Administration’s blocking of Acting DNI Maguire from providing Congress with the whistleblower complaint calls upon him to violate the federal statute, which unequivocally states that the DNI shall provide Congress this information. The Administration is endangering our national security and having a chilling effect on any future whistleblower who sees wrongdoing.
“We must be sure that the President and his Administration are always conducting our national security and foreign policy in the best interest of the American people, not the President’s personal or political interest.”
While various members of the democratic party and least one Republican member have touted the idea of impeachment throughout the course of Trump’s presidency, pressure dramatically ramped up in recent days as more revelations about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine came to light.
Over the weekend Trump admitted he discussed Biden with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July phone call, but has claimed the call was fully appropriate. Trump has instead sought to turn the conversation onto Biden and his son’s affairs in Ukraine. Trump has accused Biden of pressuring the Ukrainian government into firing a prosecutor who was investigating Biden’s son Hunter.
The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, want to stay as far away as possible from the Joe Biden demand that the Ukrainian Government fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son, or they won’t get a very large amount of U.S. money, so they fabricate a…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2019
On Monday, the Washington Post reported that Trump instructed his acting chief of staff to place a hold on about $400 million in military aid for Ukraine in the days before the July phone call between Zelensky and Trump. Trump, however, claims that he froze the money because he wanted European countries to contribute money too and did not want the U.S. to give money alone. Just days before Democrats went public with the whistleblower complaint the Trump administration released the hold on Ukraine’s military aid and gave an additional $140 million.
Ukraine and Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden’s involvement in Ukraine has to do with the Ukrainian gas company Burisma where Hunter sat as a board member. Two cases against the gas company were opened and then shelved over the years, stemming from allegations that Burisma’s founder and Ukraine’s ex-minister of natural resources from 2010 to 2012, Mykola Zlochevsky, paid off the investigations into how he obtained gas licenses.
Valentin Nalyvaichenko, a former head of Ukraine’s domestic intelligence agency and a member of Ukraine’s parliament, told the Daily Beast that he expected Ukraine would reopen the investigation into Burisma but not because of Trump’s allegations, but rather because Ukraine wants to know the truth about its own corruption.
The Daily Beast also reported that Hunter Biden was in fact supportive of Ukranian efforts to get rid of the prosecutor who interfered in the Burisma investigation, bringing about its end.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated to reflect Speaker Pelosi’s formal announcement of impeachment hearings at 5 p.m. EST on Tuesday, September 24.