GP Insights # 172, 27 October 2019
On 22 October 2019, Bill Taylor who is presently the acting US ambassador to Ukraine was reported to have prepared a detailed testimony which confirmed President Trump’s attempts to pressurize the Ukrainian President into instigating a probe over Joe Biden’s son by withholding military aid. The diplomat’s testimony further went on to contradict Trump’s denial over the alleged claims. Popular media reports suggested that the Democrats consider this as the gamechanger and have been further pushing it to quicken the impeachment proceedings.
What is the background?
On 24 September 2019, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi had announced that an inquiry would take place as a part of impeachment proceedings. The impeachment proceeding against Donald Trump was launched by the democrats after an alleged phone call that the President had made to 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 Zelensky for favours in the upcoming 2020 American Presidential elections.
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 further increasing divide between the Congress and White House. Trump’s increasingly personalized policies with no account for the institution has primarily pushed domestic politics into disarray. Also, this testimony has given the Democrats, the much-awaited opportunity to act against Trump’s indecisive policies and quicken the impeachment.
Second, this testimony has only further confirmed what seemed uncertain in the past weeks ever since an impeachment inquiry was announced. This means that Trump’s arguments and his threat against the investigators to hamper the process has repeatedly failed him.
Finally, while the domestic situation in the US is taking an upturn when the 2020 presidential elections are already around the corner, it is also important to note that the present legal push is undermining America’s political position both internationally and more specifically at the domestic level, as getting rid of Trump might not be a solution to the larger political phenomenon he represents.