House launches impeachment inquiry

House+launches+impeachment+inquiry

© HAWKEYE Lin Miyamoto

By Nolan DeGarlais, Editor-in-Chief

Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi authorized the launch of an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump on September 24. These proceedings began in light of revelations that Trump and several of his top officials had sought to pressure the government of Ukraine to receive damaging information about former Vice President Joe Biden. 

The controversy began with a whistleblower report that alleged Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden, along with Biden’s son Hunter and the cybersecurity company CrowdStrike, in a phone call between the two leaders in July. Trump allegedly encouraged the Ukrainian government to discuss an investigation with Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr. 

The White House released a summary of the conversation in the form of a non-exact transcript following the whistleblower report. The whistleblower also alleges that the conversation is part of a wider attempt by the administration to get Ukraine to investigate the Biden family, an effort which has supposedly included Vice President Mike Pence canceling a planned visit to Ukraine and the U.S. withholding military aid from the country. 

The whistleblower complaint was filed on August 12, who has been reported to be a CIA officer assigned to the White House. The complaint was forwarded on August 26 to acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire and was released to congressional intelligence committees on September 25. The public was made aware of the complaint on the following day. 

Trump has denied all wrongdoing related to the controversy, although he confirmed his administration has withheld aid from Ukraine. He first stated that this was because of corruption in Ukraine, but later claimed that aid was withheld because other nations were not contributing enough to Ukraine’s defenses. 

Additionally, Trump has made repeated calls for the whistleblower’s identity to be exposed and has heavily criticized the individual. On October 3, after boasting of America’s “tremendous power” over China in the ongoing trade war, he openly called for the governments of Ukraine and China to investigate the business dealings of the Biden family.