By: Teresa Mull
The U.S. House of Representatives, which has a Democrat majority, has launched an impeachment investigation against President Trump.
How this Got Started:
An anonymous “whistleblower,” who we now know was a CIA officer detailed to the White House, complained that the president pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to “look into” questionable behavior by Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
While Joe Biden was serving as vice president to then-President Barak Obama, he played a key role in diplomatic relations with the Ukraine. During this time, Hunter Biden joined the board of of a Ukrainian gas company called Burisma Holdings. Records show Hunter Biden made $850,000 while he served on the board, money that Bloomberg reports “was apparently routed through … company set up by one of [Hunter Biden’s] business partners.”
In 2014, Burisma was accused of corruption and possible money laundering. Viktor Shokin served as the prosecutor investigating the case, and Joe Biden personally threatened to withhold a $1 billion loan from the U.S. if Shokin were not fired from the case.
Shokin was fired.
A transcript the Trump administration released yesterday shows Trump saying in a phone call to President Zelenskiy, “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that.”
Now, Democrats are claiming there was a “quid pro quo” between Trump and Zelenskiy and are accusing the president of making illicit deals with a foreign entity to derail Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.
Zelensky has stated that he did not feel pressured by President Trump during the phone call.
Why It Matters:
If the impeachment proceedings continue, Trump would become the fourth president in history to be impeached. Some political commentators say impeachment efforts are bad for Democrats running in states that generally approve of the president, and that as The Hill notes, an impeachment trial “will further polarize the electorate.”
Even if not proven guilty, an impeachment trial would be a media circus and distract President Trump from implementing his agenda going into the 2020 election. Conversely, investigation into the Obama Administration's dealings with Ukraine could reveal details damaging to Biden. The political risks are great for both sides.
“Biden’s actions reek of extortion and obstruction of justice.”
“Between references to Internet news accounts and ‘I heard from’ and ‘I learned from’ and ‘I do not know’ anonymous officials, there is nothing here to launch an impeachment of any president.”
Teresa Mull is editor of GunpowderMagazine.com. Contact her at [email protected]