President Trump Faces Impeachment Charges Following Controversial Phone Call with Ukrainian President Zelensky
Towards the end of this summer, in August 2019, an anonymous intelligence official, now known as the first whistleblower in this controversial case, publicly released a letter in which he expressed his concerns regarding a phone call, carried out in late July, between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It is alleged by the whistleblower that throughout the phone call Trump pressured Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden, former United States Vice-President and current Democratic candidate in the 2020 election, and Biden’s son, Hunter. Days prior to the phone call, Trump withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid for Ukraine, indicating that refusal to investigate Biden and his family would result in a loss of U.S. military support for Ukraine. Following both the emergence of this information and the many allegations that ensued, President Trump now faces charges of impeachment, an effort propelled predominantly by Democrats.
According to a CNN article published on October 8th, 2019, the anonymous whistleblower filed an official complaint on August 12th in which they expressed their concerns regarding this phone call. According to the source, Trump engaged in a phone call with Ukranian President Zelensky on July 25th to congratulate Zelensky on winning the country’s recent election. Their conversation, however, took a more serious turn and drifted from the original subject of Zelensky’s win. The details surrounding this suspicious conversation were divulged in the whistleblower’s complaint. While they were not actually present during the phone call, the whistleblower discussed it with other government officials and noticed a consistent pattern: Trump’s mention to Zelensky, in a coercive manner, of investigating the Biden family. While speaking with Zelensky, Trump consistently urged him to pursue investigations regarding Biden and his son. A transcript of the call from the White House confirms this claim, additionally revealing that Trump said “there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son [...] so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great,” (CNN article). According to a BBC News article published on October 3rd, 2019, Trump had halted $391 million of military aid to Ukraine days prior to speaking with Zelensky. Thus, the timing of Trump’s request appears anything but coincidental. Many Democrats are now arguing that Trump used military support “as a bargaining chip to pressure the new government” to investigate Biden (BBC article).
Despite the fact that many of these allegations have been corroborated by public statements and official government documents, President Trump has been pushing back on them, denying any abuse of power. This lack of acknowledgement of his faults exhibits Trump’s inability to comprehend right versus wrong. More specifically, his denial of the allegations highlights his personal belief that his political status as president grants him the right to threaten and control others.
On September 24th, 2019, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally announced impeachment inquiry of Trump following these allegations (New York Times article published on September 30). Pelosi’s announcement triggers lawmakers’ investigation into possible “high crimes and misdemeanors” in which President Trump may have participated. It is alleged that he broke the law when he pressured the Ukraine President to investigate Democrat Joe Biden, a potential serious competitor in the upcoming 2020 election, and his son. In doing so, Trump allegedly abused his power as president specifically for political gain. In response to the impeachment inquiry, Trump has put on a primarily unaffected front. According to a New York Times article published on October 5th, 2019, following talk of impeachment, Trump has stated that he actually views it as “a positive” when campaigning for re-election. Despite the public release of such accusatory allegations, Trump has appeared to remain serene, unconcerned with the influence of his repercussions of his actions and unwilling to accept the criminality in which he participated. Trump’s phone call, specifically his request of investigation into the Biden family, and his inability to grasp the severity of his actions, further conveys the corruption of the United States’ election process, imposed substantially by our current president.