Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, has launched an impeachment inquiry on President Donald Trump. Pelosi decided to proceed with the inquiry after a whistleblower complained about a phone call President Trump had with Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s President.
The whistleblower accused Trump of trying to persuade the Ukrainian President to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, one of Trump’s most formidable opponents, and his son, Hunter Biden.
Pelosi said in a press release that the President’s action directly violates the constitution.
“The actions of the Trump presidency have revealed the dishonorable fact of the president’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections,” Pelosi said. “Therefore, today, I am announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry.”
However, the decision by Pelosi did not go unanswered. President Trump fired back with a series of tweets against Democrats and the whistleblower.
Trump accused the whistleblower of lying about the phone call with the Ukrainian President.
“His lies were made in perhaps the most blatant and sinister manner ever seen in the great Chamber,” Trump tweeted. “He wrote down and read terrible things, then said it was from the mouth of the President of the United States.”
Trump then tweeted that he would like to meet his accuser and the person who gave them the information.
“In addition, I want to meet not only my accuser, who presented SECOND & THIRD HAND INFORMATION, but also the person who illegally gave this information, which was largely incorrect, to the “Whistleblower,” Trump tweeted. “Was this person SPYING on the U.S. President? Big Consequences!”
Otis Sanford, Hardin chair of excellence in economic and managerial journalism at The University of Memphis, explained how the impeachment process works.
“It basically means that he is charged with high crimes and misdemeanors,” Sanford said. “It’s almost like an indictment in a court of law. If a person gets indicted that doesn’t mean that they are guilty, that just means that they are charged. Impeached means that you are charged in the House of Representatives, then those articles of impeachment would then go to the U.S. senate which is the higher chamber of the Senate. It is the Senate’s responsibility to determine if the impeachment articles are valid or not. You can get impeached without being removed from office. Bill Clinton was impeached in the House but when it got to the Senate he was not convicted. Richard Nixon did not have to go through the impeachment process because he resigned rather than be impeached.”
Sanford also said he thinks it is time for Congress to impeach President Trump.
“I think at this point the House of Representatives really has no choice,” Sanford said. “It has to at least investigate the issues around the phone conversation President Trump and the leader of Ukraine. First of all, that was a credible whistleblower complaint filed and that whistleblower went through the proper channels to do so. I think the House has to look into this because it does go to whether the president was trying to solicit a foreign government to get involved in our election. It seems clear to me that if he’s asking the President of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, who is the leading Democratic candidate, that’s illegal.”
Sanford mentioned the impeachment may eventually go to trial.
“It depends on the cooperation the House gets, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to get much especially from the Trump White House,” Sanford said. “That could be seen as obstruction itself so I think if I had to guess I would say that impeachment in the House is likely and that means it has to go to a trial in the Senate. If there is an impeachment then it has to be acted on by the Senate, and I think at this point it’s looking like there might be an impeachment because Donald Trump is obstructing and fighting back and preventing information from being disclosed to the house.”