The Ukraine Scandal
In August, an anonymous whistleblower complained that Trump had asked the Ukrainian president to investigate his opponent Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. The whistleblower also said that Trump withheld military funds that Ukraine would use against Russia and canceled a trip to Ukraine to force Ukraine to comply. This event is what spurred the president's impeachment.
As of December 18, President Trump was charged with two articles of impeachment, “abuse of power” as well as “obstruction of Congress.” The House voted 230-197 to charge Trump with abuse of power and voted 229-198 to charge him with obstruction of Congress. The House voted almost entirely on party lines with only two Democrats voting against impeachment and no Republicans voting for impeachment. So what are the two sides arguing?
What’s the case for Impeachment?
The Democrats refer to the Ukraine scandal as grounds for the first article of impeachment (abuse of power). For the second article of impeachment (obstruction of Congress), they point at the fact that Trump has subverted Congress’s oversight position by ordering federal employees not to testify and to not provide documents for the impeachment inquiries.
What’s the case against Impeachment?
The Republicans deny that Trump withheld the Ukraine funds, and believe what Trump was doing was standard negotiations. Their evidence for this is that Ukraine’s president has said he never felt threatened, Ukraine never noticed the funds were withheld, and that the funds were eventually returned. The Republicans also repeatedly brought up the fact that this impeachment is more of a fight between the Democrats and Republicans rather than what Trump has supposedly done.
What Will Happen Next
The Senate will decide whether or not to convict Trump of impeachment in early 2020. Analysts expect that the Senate will not convict President Trump because of the partisan nature of the impeachment and the fact that the Senate has a Republican majority. However, if Trump is convicted, the vice president, Mike Pence, will serve the rest of President Trump’s term. Mike Pence is a conservative Republican, and most likely the transition of power will not come with riots and upheaval. The federal government will continue to work, however, most Americans’ faith in the federal government will probably diminish for some time. What will happen to Trump is a little more unknown since if he is convicted, he will be the first president to be thrown out of the White House. However, he will no longer be allowed to serve in any federal office and we can assume that the Trump brand will lose some prestige.