“Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress” are what the House voted to impeach President Donald Trump for last week, making him only the third sitting president in U.S. history to go through the process. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not committed to sending the articles of impeachment however, and the Senate will be unable to take up the issue until she does. Meanwhile, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who voted unanimously to impeach, released a statement December 19, calling the president “lawless”and demanding that his administration be held accountable “as required by the Constitution.”
“This moment is about a lawless president attempting the greatest voter fraud in history: using the office of the Presidency and hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to strong arm defenseless countries into interfering in our 2020 presidential elections,” they said.
“The Conscience of the Congress takes a backseat to no one in saying enough has long been enough. The Congressional Black Caucus will continue to hold this Administration accountable, both through the ongoing impeachment proceedings and in the oversight capacity of our respective Committees as required by the Constitution of the United States of America…”
Trump is accused of pressuring Ukraine to dig up damaging information on Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden, and his son Hunter. Biden is one of Trump’s key Democratic opponents.
Hunter worked for a Ukrainian company when Joe Biden was US vice-president.
Democrats said Trump used withholding $400m of military aid to Ukraine that had already been allocated by Congress, and a White House meeting for Ukraine’s president as bargaining chips to get those tasks accomplished.
This, Democrats say, amounts to an abuse of presidential power, using the office for personal political gain and to the detriment of national security. Ukraine was using that money in its ongoing conflict with Russia.
They also said the president obstructed Congress by refusing to co-operate with the congressional inquiry.
“This is indeed a dark time in our nation’s history,” CBC members said.
“For only the third time in United States history, a sitting president has been impeached by the House of Representatives. The facts are undeniable: Donald J. Trump has abused the power of the office of the Presidency in his blatant attempt to cheat his way to reelection. Congress is a co-equal branch of government and one of our central responsibilities is to provide oversight of the Executive Branch. These are the very checks and balances the framers built into the constitution so no one branch would have unchecked power.”
Trump has continuously denied the charges against him, maintaining that his call to the Ukraine was “perfect.” Trump suggested that Biden, as Barack Obama’s vice-president, encouraged the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor in 2015 because he had been investigating an energy company which employed Hunter Biden.
At the time, by working closely with foreign-owned entities while his father was in the White House, Hunter Biden was criticized for leaving his father exposed to suggestions of a possible conflict of interest. But no evidence has emerged that the former vice president did anything to intentionally benefit his son.
Hunter Biden denies wrongdoing. Officials in Kiev have said there is no evidence to support the allegations. But even under those circumstances, political analysts believe a Republican ruled Senate will most likely acquit Trump. And, an acquittal would most likely bolster him in his next campaign.
That fact is much to the chagrin of the Democrats and the Congressional Black Caucus. Trump, they said, has done very little to help some of the country’s most vulnerable communities.
“Let’s be clear: Black people have lost a lot since President Trump was sworn into office,” CBC members said.
“The list of regressive and racist policies proposed by Donald Trump’s administration is long and sad. To add insult to injury, we have to hear him and his supporters tout the lowest Black unemployment rate in history even though he inherited President Barack Obama’s economy and has never championed a single policy or program for Black people. They also fail to acknowledge that the Black unemployment rate remains almost twice that of our white counterparts in the midst of a growing racial wealth divide. The strongest stock market in history means nothing to you if you’re working two or three jobs at today’s minimum wage and still can’t make ends meet.”
Bill Clinton was impeached on the grounds of perjury and obstruction of justice after he lied about an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky and then allegedly asked her to lie about it as well.
Before Clinton, was Andrew Johnson in 1868. He was accused of dismissing his secretary of war against the will of Congress.
Richard Nixon, the 37th US president, resigned in 1974 before he could be impeached over the Watergate scandal.