The U.S. House of Representatives is trying to impeach President Donald Trump. House Democrats believe that during a phone call with newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump asked for a personal favor that would benefit him politically.
Whistleblowers are people who tell on the government – or “blow the whistle” – when they think the government is doing wrong. An anonymous whistleblower suggested in a letter that Trump had asked for a corruption investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden’s connections with a Ukrainian energy company called Burisma Holdings. Burisma Holdings hired Biden’s son, Hunter, and many people think it was because his father was the U.S. vice president. Democrats claim that President Trump withheld aid money promised to Ukraine to force Zelensky to open an investigation.
So far, the House Committee has heard testimony from a range of witnesses, who all explained what happened during and after the time the aid was held up from their perspectives.
However, none of the witnesses have any first-hand information. Each is presenting a view of what they personally believe happened rather than what they saw or heard. This is what the House Republicans are focusing on in their defense of the president.
Despite this, many Democrats and media outlets are convinced the testimonies present major problems for Donald Trump. Public opinion is evenly divided on whether or not the president abused his authority, and as with many political events, it is often the public perception that is most important.
Will President Trump be removed from office? Well, it seems highly unlikely. While House Democrats appear convinced of Trump’s guilt, House Republicans do not. Eventually, the House will hold a vote on whether to impeach the president; as the House of Representatives is controlled by a Democrat majority, this will probably pass. But then it must be sent to the Senate for trial.
When the Senate (acting as the jury) finally votes, it will probably find the president not guilty. The Senate is controlled by a Republican majority – most of whom don’t seem to think Trump did anything wrong. It would take a two-thirds majority to find the president guilty in the Senate.
Even though the president most likely won’t be removed from office, the attempt itself could cost him the White House in 2020. The president has been receiving heavy press coverage, almost all of it negative. It is possible this could affect the election, as the American public may decide that having such a divisive figure leading the country may not be in the national interest.