GP Insights

GP Insights # 166, 12 October 2019

US: Further developments on the impeachment inquiry on Trump
Sukanya Bali

What happened?

There have been new developments since Nancy Pelosi ordered an impeachment inquiry against President Trump. The White House has continued to refuse to cooperate with the inquiry. Two business associates, Parnas and Fruman, of Rudy Guliani Trump's personal lawyer, were arrested on charges of making illegal- donations to US politicians. The two arrested are central to the impeachment inquiry, considering the alleged role they played in the Trump-Ukraine connection.

Last week, former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch gave her testimony to Congressional committees. Further Energy Secretary Rick Perry was subpoenaed to submit documents related to his role in the Trump administration's dealings with Ukraine by the end of next week. 

What is the background?

The impeachment inquiry pertains to alleged 'abuse of power 'by President Trump. According to a whistleblower complaint, Trump asked President Volodymyr Zelensky over a phone call on 25 July to investigate the democrat-front-runner Joe Biden and his son's ties with a Ukrainian gas company. 

According to whistleblower complaint, Rudy Giuliani built contacts to look into Biden's ties with Ukrainian gas company, for Donald Trump in 2018. Parnas and Fruman, the two arrested helped Giuliani build connections in Ukraine and called for the removal of Marie Yoganovitch. Additionally, Trump referred to Yoganovitch's 'bad news' in his phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart. Rick Perry, the US Energy Secretary, was sent to attend President Zelensky's inauguration by Trump and had connections in Ukraine that could help in investigating the Biden's.

The White House had also attempted to stonewall testimonies of several officials. Subpoenas, testimonies, and investigations have been snowballing Trump's impeachment inquiry. Trump has repeatedly downplayed the allegations as garbage-witch-hunt and later openly asked China and Ukraine to initiate investigations against Biden.

What does it mean?

Trump is no stranger to controversies. However, with the election just around the corner, allegations against Trump will have an impact on his re-election. According to polls, more than fifty per cent of the US population is inclined towards President Trump's impeachment. The entire episode also shows the deep divide between the executive and the legislative bodies of the country.

 If the findings of the inquiry are proven to be true, it would mean the end of Donald Trump's political aspiration. It would also raise questions about Trump's role in Russian intervention in the 2016 elections. However, if the allegations against the Biden's are proven, Donald Trump would emerge a hero. 

Eyes are glued-on Trump.

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