Everything to Know About Trumpeachment

A breakdown of the key facts surrounding the impeachment inquiry and the follow-up


Graphic: Mychal Corbin/SAC.Media

There’s a lot going on in politics right now. With all of the news coming out surrounding the impeachment inquiry against President Trump, it’s bound to get confusing and messy. Here’s a breakdown of all of the things you need to know about it.

What is happening?

On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry for President Donald Trump.

Why is this happening?

A secret whistleblower complaint against Trump was filed; it surrounds a July 25 phone call between the president and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

What’s a whistleblower?

A whistleblower is anyone who exposes wrongdoing by organizations or public figures. Some of America’s most famous whistleblowers include Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning.

What did the whistleblower say?

In the complaint, the whistleblower alleged that the president pressured Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, the Democratic frontrunner for the 2020 election, and his son Hunter. The whistleblower also claimed that they “learned from multiple U.S. officials that senior White House officials had intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the phone call.” This means that officials allegedly took steps to cover up the conversation.

Is the complaint credible?

The White House released a transcript of the call. In the transcript, Trump said, “The other thing, 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 so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.” So, according to the transcript, the whistleblower was right about Trump’s push for an investigation from Ukraine.

How is Joe Biden’s son involved in this?

It’s complicated, but he is basically not. In a nutshell, Hunter Biden was on the board of Burisma Holdings, a major Ukrainian gas company. Trump and Rudy Giuliani claimed that Joe Biden pushed Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who had been investigating Burisma. There hasn’t been any evidence of anything like that happening, and the suggestion has since been debunked.

What’s the problem with this?

There has been controversy surrounding Trump allegedly receiving aid from Russia in the 2016 election; this all looks very familiar. Having a foreign entity interfere in a national election is, of course, a sign of corruption, and now there’s a transcript actually showing Trump pressuring someone to do so.

Not only that, but when Democrats on intelligence committees requested to see the complaint, Joseph Maguire, acting director of national intelligence, refused. Joseph Maguire testified before Congress about his handling of the complaint, where he defended the whistleblower’s actions and his own.

The complaint has since been released. The allegations that there have been coverups of the incident are damning, to say the least.

“The actions of the Trump presidency revealed (the) dishonorable fact of the president’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections,” Pelosi said.

What is impeachment?

Article II, section four of the Constitution gives Congress the power to remove a president before their term is over.

“The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

What are the proceedings for the impeachment of a president?

The process for impeachment is in three steps.

1. Congressional committees investigate. If the investigation finds enough evidence for impeachment, it then moves to a vote in the House.

2. The House of Representatives has to vote on the articles of impeachment. If the vote of at least one article reaches majority, it passes, and the president is impeached. The House is currently controlled by Democrats.

3. A trial then falls on the hands of the Senate, overseen by the chief justice of the United States. The Senate votes to convict the president afterwards. Two-thirds majority is needed for a conviction. If the vote passes, then the president is removed, whereas the president stays in office if the vote is less than two-thirds. The Senate is currently controlled by Republicans.

Does this mean the president might actually be removed?

It’s hard to say. As of now, no president has been removed from office by impeachment. Only two have been impeached, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, but both were acquitted and remained in office. Richard Nixon infamously resigned from office before he could be removed.