On Tuesday, Sept. 24, the rift dividing American politics expanded. On that Tuesday afternoon, House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry against president Donald Trump. The impeachment inquiry was sparked by word from an anonymous whistleblower who exposed a phone call between Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and president Donald Trump.
In the phone call, Trump asked Zelensky to mount an investigation on Joe Biden and son, Hunter Biden’s relations with Ukraine during the Obama administration. Trump also asked the newly elected president to investigate the rumor that Ukraine was behind the foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Before asking for these two favors, Trump did not hesitate to make notice of America’s many contributions to and support of Ukraine. “I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time,” said Trump. Trump went on to say, “I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good, but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.”
Trump then asked his favors of Zelensky, requesting Zelensky to “find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine,” in reference to the 2016 presidential election. Trump continued on, suggesting that Zelensky should meet with Trump’s attorney general to discuss possible information on Biden preventing the prosecution of his son for illegal activity involving Ukraine.
While legal experts suggest that Trump’s actions are a violation of his oath of presidency, the authority to remove him from office lies in the hands of Congress. To be impeached, a simple majority vote must pass in the House. After Impeachment, the Senate must pass a two-thirds vote to officially remove the president from office. While impeachment is definitely possible with a Democrat-controlled House, removal is unlikely considering that a two-thirds vote must pass in an already Republican controlled Senate.