- A vote to impeach President Trump by the whole House could come as early as Wednesday.
- President Trump, on Twitter, insisted he has done nothing wrong.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) predicted every Republican, and even a couple Democrats, would vote to acquit.
The US House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump on Friday, alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. In total, 23 members— all Democrats— voted in favor, and 17 members— all Republicans— voted against.
Formal complaints are due to be presented next week in the full House, where the Democratic Party boasts a majority of 233 to 197. However, even if the House approves impeachment, in a vote that could come as early as Wednesday, Trump would only be removed from office if the Republican-controlled Senate votes to convict. This scenario is not likely to happen.
“How do you get Impeached when you have done NOTHING wrong (a perfect call), have created the best economy in the history of our country, rebuilt our Military, fixed the VA (Choice!), cut Taxes & Regs, protected your 2nd A, created Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, and soooo much more? Crazy,” Trump tweeted. “It’s a scam. It’s something that shouldn’t be allowed and it’s a very bad thing for our country, and you’re trivializing impeachment. And I tell you what, someday there will be a Democrat president and there will be a Republican House, and I suspect they’re going to remember it,” he added.
On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity that “there is no chance the president is going to be removed from office.” He insisted that “there won’t be a single Republican who votes for either of these articles of impeachment,” and added, “it wouldn’t surprise me if we got one or two Democrats.” On her part, White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham called the impeachment process “a desperate farce” for Democrats.
Trump is accused of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation against Joe Biden, Trump’s likely opponent in the US presidential election scheduled for next year. Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was an adviser to a big Ukrainian gas company, Burisma. It is alleged that in a bid to pressurize Ukraine to implement his demands, and enable him to achieve his goal, Trump temporarily froze almost $400 million in military aid to Ukraine.
In a call on July 25, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate the Bidens, but did not mention military aid, which was blocked at the time. The accusation of obstruction refers to the president’s stance of instructing members of his administration not to testify before Congress, and not to provide official documents.
To date, only two former US presidents have been subjected to impeachment proceedings: Andrew Johnson (1868) and Bill Clinton (1998). Both were ultimately acquitted, and they ended up completing their presidential terms in office. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974, avoiding an imminent removal because of the Watergate scandal.