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The Trump Impeachment Inquiry: What Happened So Far

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The Trump Impeachment Inquiry: What Happened So Far

2019-11-14 09:13:151 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST

By Chanel Adams,  Image: White-house; From Wikimedia Commons

The impeachment inquiry began on Wednesday, Nov. 13 and it’s going to be an ongoing event. It’s also expected to be most the televised event in history. According to the witnesses who testified, President Trump used a foreign power to help him win re-election in a deeply partisan battle. The reason why the impeachment process is taking place is because a whistleblower filed a complaint back in August stating that White House officials claimed that President Trump abused his power for political gain.

Impeachment happens when the holder of public office has been accused of misconduct. In this case, Trump has been accused of misconduct for the 2016 election. Trump has been accused of breaking the law by pressuring Ukraine to look into former Vice President Joe Biden, who is also one of the Democratic opponents in the 2020 election. A reconstructed transcript of Trump’s conversation to President Volodymyr Zelensky was leaked by the whistleblower.

If convicted, the inquiry into President Trump’s impeachment could impact his presidency. According to the U.S. Constitution, Congress would remove a president before his term is up if enough lawmakers say that the president has committed “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Only two presidents have been impeached – Andrew Johnson (1868) and Bill Clinton (1998). Richard M. Nixon resigned in 1974 in order to avoid impeachment.

The impeachment process works when the House Judiciary Committee holds an investigation and offers articles of impeachment to the House. The House of Representatives then sets up a panel to hold the proceedings – which is being aired on television. Other times, they could also hold a floor vote on such articles without a committee vetting them. One has to have the majority vote in order for the full House to vote on impeachment. Then the president is impeached rather than indicted.

It’s not over yet though. The proceedings would then move onto the Senate, which will hold a trial overseen by the chief justice of the United States. The managers, a team of lawmakers from the House, would then take on the role as prosecutors. The president would also assign defense lawyers, and the Senate would take on the role as the jury. At least two-thirds of senators would have to find the president guilty in order for him to be impeached. Then the vice president would take on the role as president. There is no appeal during the impeachment inquiry.

So, what happened on Wednesday? The federal judge in Washington has declared that the House’s impeachment inquiry was legal and legitimate without requiring a formal vote by the lawmakers. The judge has also ordered the Department of Justice to provide evidence from Robert Mueller’s investigation to the House Judiciary Committee, even though William Barr desperately tried to withhold this information. In addition, three more officials were subpoenaed, including Russell Vought, the head of the White House budget office.

The testimony will take place all throughout the week and into the weekend. Investigators will speak to Philip Reeker, the acting assistant secretary for Europe and Eurasia, on Thursday. On Monday, Charles Kupperman, former national security adviser of the White House, will be questioned. Kupperman reportedly worked closely with Bolton during his tenor. In addition, Timothy Morrison, the acting senior director for Europe and Asia on the National Security Council, is also expected to appear on Thursday. He would become the first White House official to speak with investigators.

The impeachment inquiry has had its share of key moments. Trump called the impeachment a “new hoax” while White House aides insisted that he wasn’t watching and live tweeting the event. Republicans continued to declare the accusations as false. Nunes accused those who were working against Trump as “politicized bureaucracy.” Mick Mulvaney told Adam Schiff to “get over it” after he opened the hearing. In addition, a drag queen brought the right amount of drama to the impeachment hearings. She was one of the many key moments that took place at Wednesday’s historical event.

Drag queen Pissi Myles turned heads when she showed up to Capitol Hill and entered the Longworth House Office Building. The 31-year-old is a full-time drag queen from New Jersey who’s also a journalist and stand-up comedian. Myles revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that she had just done a show the night before but needed to “give accurate information but in a light, humorous way.” Myles loved the media attention and called it “empowering.” But she feels that she was the last thing anyone wanted to see at that moment.

According to her husband, David Allyon, Myles had one other important job. She was there to report on the hearings for a new mobile app called Happs. The company was looking for a comedian who could report on the hearings in a lighthearted way and Myles was the perfect person for the job. The Trump impeachment hearings revealed that anything could happen from here on out.

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