GP Insights # 155, 28 September 2019
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi has announced that an inquiry would take place as a part of impeachment proceedings in the coming week. The impeachment proceeding against Donald Trump was launched by the democrats after an alleged phone call that the President had made with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky on 25 July this year.
A whistleblower complaint following this conversation further revealed that the US President was heard asking favours to Zelensky in the upcoming 2020 American Presidential elections.
What is the background?
Congress, especially the Democrats, have repeatedly been trying to act against Trump. However, the recently concluded Mueller report which investigated into the possible Russian interference during Trump’s 2016 elections did not fulfil expectations.
On 12 August 2019, a nine-page document was submitted by an unnamed national security official to the intelligence which soon triggered the simmered clash between the Congress and White House. According to reports, Trump had asked Zelensky to launch a corruption scandal against Joe Biden, the 2020 presidential candidate from the Democratic party and his son Hunter Biden who holds business interests in the Ukrainian region. Trump had held the prospects of a possible military aid for Ukraine. The scandal, if triggered, would have boosted the potential of Trump being re-elected in the upcoming Presidential elections.
What does it mean?
First, the latest push for the Presidential impeachment by the Democrats shows the increasing divide between the Congress and White House. Trump’s increasingly personalized policies with no account for the institution has largely pushed domestic politics into disarray.
Second, given the upcoming election scenario, it is also important to note that the present legal push is undermining America’s political issues as getting rid of Trump might not be a solution to the larger political phenomenon he represents. USA’s withdrawal from many crucial multilateral forums and agreements in recent times has increasingly made the US into a Foreign policy disaster and projected mainly as the world hegemon’s departure from significant power politics. While, on the other hand, strained and personalized policy interventions by Trump has mostly put countries such as Russia and Ukraine in a good position to use the scenario to pursue their own national interests with the US.