For the third time in two hundred years, US officials are preparing to send the President for trial before the Senate. Explanations.
Donald Trump will be on Wednesday, December 18, in Washington, the third President of the United States to be charged with a view to possible dismissal since the entry into force of the American Constitution in 1789.
This debate followed by a vote will be the epilogue of a first step in the dismissal procedure: the investigation launched in September by the House of Representatives, with a Democratic majority, is completed. Procedure, accusation, defense of the president, follow-up to come … a few hours before the vote, here are the main elements to understand what will be played out at the top of American power.
What’s going to happen tonight in Washingon?
The House of Representatives, controlled by the Democrats (233 seats against 197), will meet for a six-hour debate which will lead to the vote on the two impeachment articles targeting the Republican President: abuse of power and obstruction to the smooth running of Congress.
The six hours of talks will be divided equally between Republicans and Democrats. This vote, which will make history – it will be the third of its kind since the birth of American democracy -, is expected at the earliest late afternoon, Washington time (in the evening in Paris).
The result of the vote is hardly in doubt: the Democratic majority, with a few exceptions, supports the approach of Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House. The majority should therefore vote in favor of a trial of the President in the Senate, the next step in the process.
What do Democrats blame Donald Trump for?
Two indictments were passed by the House of Representatives’ Judicial Affairs Committee, accusing the incumbent president of abusing power and obstructing the smooth running of Congress.
It all started from Trump’s famous appeal to the President of Ukraine on July 25, and a report of which was finally made public. For Democrats, it’s obvious: this document proves that Donald Trump sought to put pressure on Volodymyr Zelensky so that Kiev opens an investigation into the activities in Ukraine of one of the sons of Joe Biden, his potential Democratic opponent during the presidential election of November 2020, in exchange for American aid to the country. In other words, that he would have used his powers as President of the United States for the purposes of political trash.
In order to find out more, the democratic representatives launched a dismissal procedure on 24 September which, in its preliminary phase in the House of Representatives, corresponds to an investigation carried out by the elected officials. The latter therefore conducted a series of hearings in order to hear the main protagonists of the Ukrainian affair.
The Investigation That Could Lead To Trump’s Dismissal Explained At A Glance
During this investigation, the president refused to transmit documents and prevented his collaborators from being heard by elected officials. The president’s chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, and former national security adviser John Bolton did not testify. It is on this basis that the second dismissal article rests: an obstacle to the proper functioning of the Congress.
What does Donald Trump say?
In a long letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released on Tuesday, President Trump rebelled against his opponents by dismissing the accusation against him. “You are declaring an open war against American democracy,” he said. “History will judge you severely.”
Donald Trump lets out his anger in a letter to Congress
The letter is violent, vitriolic. For Donald Trump, the vote in the House is just “an illegal and partisan coup attempt”, motivated by resentment. “You are unable to accept the 2016 ballot box verdict,” he writes.
While presenting himself as the victim of an “odious crusade”, Donald Trump says he is certain to come out of this political sequence comforted: “I have no doubt that the American people will hold you responsible, along with the Democrats, in the 2020 election. “
In an early Tweet on Wednesday, the American president again defended accusations made by the Democrats. “Can you believe that I will be indicted today by the radical left, the do-nothing Democrats, WHEN I HAVE NOTHING DONE! It’s terrible, look at the reports. It should never happen to another president again. Say a PRAYER! “
Can you believe that I will be impeached today by the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, AND I DID NOTHING WRONG! A terrible Thing. Read the Transcripts. This should never happen to another President again. Say a PRAYER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2019
What are the next steps ?
In the event of a favorable vote in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, the dismissal procedure continues in the Senate, probably in January. The upper house of the American Congress will then become a court for the President of the United States.
A few weeks later, the hundred senators, who have become jurors, will say if they find the president guilty. If fewer than sixty-seven think so, the most likely scenario is that he will be acquitted and vigorously revive himself in his re-election campaign.
The Senate, with a Republican majority, will vote, unless there is a huge surprise, against the removal of the president. Republican Mitch McConnell, president of the chamber, assured the support of his troops to the tenant of the White House.
Source of information : le Monde
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