Trump’s ‘Historic Rebuke’: First Impeached US President to Run for Re-Election

Written by | Friday, December 20th, 2019

“Impeached” read the headlines in most US newspapers on Thursday (19 December) morning after the votes a day before to officially impeach US President Donald Trump on two articles – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – on the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC. Presiding over the almost party-line vote was US Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and thus Trump became the third US president to be impeached in a historic step that is bound to inflame partisan tensions across a deeply divided America. The passage of two articles of impeachment by the Democratic-led House sets the stage for a trial as early as January in the Republican-controlled Senate that will ponder whether to convict and remove him from office.
Referring to the act as “historic rebuke”, Politico magazine describes Trump’s conduct as “a bruised ego, a Twitter eruption and a winding rally”. No president in the 243-year history of the US has been removed from office by impeachment. In Trump’s case, if he were to be removed from office next month, at least 20 Republicans in the 100-member Senate would have to join Democrats in voting against the president, which is unlikely to happen. Still, Trump will also make the history by becoming the first-ever US president who, while impeached, is seeking another four-year term in the November 2020 presidential election. He has denied any wrongdoing and called the impeachment inquiry launched by Pelosi in September a “witch hunt.”
The impeachment process had a strong European dimension: EU ambassador Gordon Sondland was at the heart of the impeachment inquiry into the president’s bid to get Ukraine to investigate his US political rival, Joe Biden. A wealthy hotelier who donated $1m to Mr. Trump’s inauguration committee, Sondland denied military aid to Ukraine was withheld for political reasons, though he has since revised his evidence. Sondland, along with other officials, has been described by diplomats as being part of a shadow foreign policy operation on Ukraine, sidestepping official channels to pressure the country’s president, Mr. Zelensky, to investigate Mr. Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

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