Update: The House has just passed a resolution that formalizes the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump. The final vote was 232-196, with no Republicans voting in favor.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi cast one of the votes herself, which Speakers don’t typically do, and it is said that she did it today in order to prove a point.
CNN’s Dana Bash explained:
“I was told she actually voted yes. And it is the tradition of the speakers of the House to actually not vote. They usually don’t vote on legislation or on resolutions unless they want to make a point. She wanted to make a point – both symbolically by sitting in the chair and with her vote – that she is all in on this and that is a big shift.
Pelosi also presided over the vote today, when she usually doesn’t do this.
Trump’s Response to Impeachment Vote
Soon after the vote took place, Trump tweeted the following:
The Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2019
If you’re not up to date on the entire impeachment scandal, here is where it all began:
The Last Straw? The impeaching push is stronger than ever amidst the Ukraine aid debacle.
President Trump reportedly told Ukraine that the US would provide much-needed aid only if they investigated Joe Biden’s son Hunter, who has business dealings in the country.
Over 150 representatives, mostly Democrats, are now backing a start to the impeachment process on some level. That means nearly two-thirds of the 235-member caucus support going forward.
It appears this might be the final push needed to put the wheels of impeachment in motion.
What Is Going On, Anyway?
This has been a trickle-truth story that started nearly a month ago, where it was suggested by a whistleblower that has yet to be named that Trump made questionable promises to an unidentified foreign leader in exchange for something shady.
Another trickle: it was actually the Prime Minister of Ukraine. Trump called this “fake news” on Twitter… until Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, went on national TV and admitted it was true. A conversation between the President and the Prime Minister of Ukraine did happen. But don’t worry, he said: it’s not a big deal.
The most recent reports are indicating that the President has promised aid to Ukraine, who is in the middle of a war defending their land from Russia, only if the country would investigate Joe Biden’s family, including his son Hunter.
President Trump himself hinted to at least part of the story being true when asked about it, turning the question back on reporters: “Why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?”
Former Vice President and current frontrunner for the Democratic 2020 Presidental Nomination, Joe Biden, has already been predicted to crush Trump in an election if all works out.
Reportedly, Trump asked the Prime Minister no less than 8 times to investigate Hunter Biden, a lawyer who has business ties with the country. Biden was also instrumental in 2014 when Ukraine underwent a revolution, pushing out the pro-Russian president at the time.
..Breaking News: The Ukrainian Government just said they weren’t pressured at all during the “nice” call. Sleepy Joe Biden, on the other hand, forced a tough prosecutor out from investigating his son’s company by threat of not giving big dollars to Ukraine. That’s the real story!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2019
Is Impeachment Actually Happening?
It’s too early to say if Donald Trump will actually be impeached, but the pressure that Congress is facing is very high. With such a large number of members backing some sort of impeachment process, it’s very possible that this Ukraine call could be the straw that breaks the camels back, so to speak.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who holds all the power in this impeachment process but has been hesitant to make moves, says that they may have “no choice” but to conduct an impeachment investigation.
Seven freshman Democrats wrote a piece this week in the Washington Post that called the allegations against the President a “threat to all we have sworn to protect”, saying that if true, these actions “represent an impeachable offense”.
House Democrats are set to meet today to discuss possible impeachment moves and what the next step is going to be for them. It’s very possible by the end of this week, the process will have already started.
Will Donald Trump Release The Call?
The ultimate question is this: will the pressure of the media force the Trump Administration to release the call?
When asked if he plans to release the transcript if he has nothing to hide during an interview at UN headquarters in New York City this week, Trump replied that he “can do that very easily, but I’d rather not do it from the standpoint of all of the other conversation I have.”
Q: "You can authorize to release the transcript. Will you do that?"
President Trump: "I can do it very easily, but I'd rather not do it from the standpoint of all of the other conversations I have. I may do it, 'cause it was a very innocent call." pic.twitter.com/PxrFbS3uqZ
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 23, 2019
He continued that he may, however, release it, because it was a “very innocent call”. Apparently, it was just a “congratulatory” call between the two men. The biggest question is why hasn’t it already been released if it was so innocent?