by Sonali Mudunuri
Donald Trump’s possible impeachment — the charging of a public officer with misconduct — has been a hot political topic over the last few months, and the time is nearing for the House’s first public hearings in the impeachment inquiry, which will take place starting mid-November. As the inquiry continues, let’s review the facts and events that led up to where we are now. The investigation seeks to get to the heart of Trump’s relations with Ukraine and other foreign countries, regarding his persuasion of said countries to slander the character of former Vice President and 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden. In May of 2019, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, officially stated his plans to meet with Ukrainian president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy to examine Hunter Biden’s (Joe Biden’s son) involvement with Burisma, a Ukranian oil and gas company. Although Hunter Biden was found innocent of any wrongdoing, Trump continued to converse with Zelenskiy in July of 2019, and pressed further for a more thorough exploration of possible criminal activity or corruption by the Biden family. Reconstructed transcripts of these phone calls were made public by the White House shortly after. Following insistence from House Democrats, on September 24th, 2019, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the launching of an official impeachment inquiry into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
Next week, when the House will begin convening for the impeachment hearings, three witnesses will take the stand: William B. Taylor Jr. — former U.S. government official and soldier, George P. Kent — a State Department official, and Marie L. Yovanovitch, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. The three have already consolidated strong testimonies in favor of impeachment, with Mr. Taylor’s testimony detailing how the relationship between America and Ukraine lies heavily in President Trump’s reliance on Ukranian leaders to defame politically powerful Democrats and garner more support for himself in the coming 2020 election. Meanwhile, the White House is scrambling to defend Trump under pressure, and is in the process of hiring two new staff members to assist in aiding Trump’s public image, engaging in “proactive impeachment messaging”, as stated by an anonymous White House official. Trump’s response is surprisingly positive as well: the current president described the situation as a “a positive” in furthering his re-election campaign. Regardless of political leaning or alignment, all of America will be waiting for next week to hear the testimony of the House witnesses against Trump, and watch as the inquiry infolds.