The US House of Representatives has impeached the US President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress- something that is bound to further polarize the ideological narrative in the US politics. Almost all Democrats supported the impeachment vote, while none of the Republicans voted in its favour.
US President, Donald Trump has now become the only impeached President who is likely to win his party’s nomination for re-election. And this is exactly where Trump is set to benefit.
The House voted 230 to 197 on the first impeachment article, that is, misuse of the power of his office to pressure Ukraine into getting Biden investigated, and 229 to 198 on the second article which accused him of obstructing the Congress.
Donald Trump has been impeached on the flimsy ground of withholding aid to Ukraine as a means of pressuring the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating former US Vice-President, Joe Biden, a leading Democratic Party candidate for the 2020 US Presidential race. Democrats started painting this as an attempt to blackmail a foreign government for domestic political gains, and the US House of Representatives had opened an impeachment inquiry against him.
The Democrats have pushed through the impeachment vote even though a senior Ukrainian official had told TIME magazine that the Ukrainian President and his team never saw any link between the release of military aid and investigation against Biden. He said, “I’m telling you – no, there was no such connection.”
Trump’s support base is only going to get stronger from here. His core support base does not buy the flimsy ground on which he has been impeached, and now the US President gets to play the victim card. In fact, public support for Trump’s impeachment and removal rarely went beyond 50% and there is nothing to suggest that the impeachment has affected him in any substantial manner. Trump has completed most of the major promises on which he was elected prompting the Republican voter base to rally behind Trump who won handsomely in the 2016 US elections.
With this move, the Democrats have come out looking rather desperate as they ran a smear campaign throughout Trump’s tenure, but all their moves backfired. Finally, they came up with the last roll of their dice and got Trump impeached for his alleged threat to the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to coax him to investigate Democratic Presidential hopeful and ex-Vice President Joe Biden and his family. As they failed to implicate Trump on anything, therefore they chose to push ahead with the impeachment vote on aid cuts to Ukraine.
Not only the ground is flimsy but the manner in which the impeachment vote was rushed through is only going to get Trump more sympathy from his voter base. Apart from this, the Republicans have claimed that second-hand evidence was used for pushing through the impeachment vote. Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said that it is a “case is based on second-hand opinions and hearsay.” He added, “Simply put: they have no grounds for impeachment.”
Moreover, Trump is going to stay in office as Trump enjoys immense popularity among the Republican voter base and it is almost certain that the Republican Senators who have a majority in the Senate will acquit him of the accusations levelled against him.
The political atmosphere in the US is too polarized and Republicans see it as a simple warranted attack on corrupt Biden. The impeachment vote against Trump is, therefore, looking like an act of vendetta and witch-hunting by the Democrats. Attack on Biden for corruption during the Obama regime does not really look like a real reason to impeach the President of the USA.
What Democrats have by getting the impeachment motion through the US House of Representatives is that they have given Trump the room to play the victim card. They might try to portray him as a weak President, however, Trump’s support base will look at him as a victim of witch-hunting by the Democrats. Usually, an incumbent does not get the opportunity to play the victim card during a re-election bid. However, the Democrats have ended up giving him a victim card to play with. Post-impeachment Trump is therefore much more powerful than the pre-impeachment Trump. This, therefore, further bolsters his 2020 re-election bid.