WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 10: Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Chairman of House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Chairwoman of House Financial Services Committee Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of House Oversight and Reform Committee Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Chairman of House Ways and Means Committee Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 10: Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Chairman of House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Chairwoman of House Financial Services Committee Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of House Oversight and…

Five things we have learned from Donald Trump's impeachment

Just as the political process against the U.S. president enters a new and unknown phase, we go through what has happened so far.


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The impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump is not only a unique event in history but also one that is difficult to understand.

Since a Justice Department whistleblower's complaint of Trump's alleged abuse of power by withholding money approved by Congress to support Ukraine in exchange for compromising information about former Vice President Joe Biden became public, the past three months have been key to the country's future.

What have we learned so far?

1. Separation of powers in the country at risk

The Democrats' decision in the House of Representatives to conduct an investigation into the president's abuse of power was triggered by a dangerous issue: Attorney General William P. Barr's refusal to evaluate the informant's complaint.

It is not necessary to have read Montesquieu to understand that the democratic balance of countries like the United States depends on the separation of the legislative, executive and judicial branches.

If a president feels he can, say, shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not be prosecuted for it, it is the duty of the judicial and legislative branches to make him understand that no one is above the law.

While the House of Representatives, the legislative branch, insists on maintaining the system of checks and balances, the tribalism to which the Attorney General seems attached in protecting the president at all costs sets a precedent in which any other president can rule in a tyrannical manner.

A proof of this was Barr's decision to "completely exonerate" the president once the Mueller investigation was made public, or his refusal to investigate whether the president actually abused his power.

2. Trump betrayed his oath and the country's trust

The three months of investigations, hearings, and review of evidence by House Committees determined that "President Trump, personally and acting through agents within and outside of the U.S. government, solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his reelection," according to the House's final report.

The president also allegedly obstructed the committees' investigation by prohibiting members of his government from testifying and collaborating with the documentation necessary to establish the evidence.

3. Despite the government's strategies, there are those who continue to put the Constitution first

Since Nov. 13, a handful of government officials decided to put the country first and went before House Committees and the world to testify on what they knew about the issue.

George Kent, Bill Taylor, Marie Yovanovitch, Fiona Hill and even European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland confirmed aloud the informant's denunciation: the president had abused his power.

4. The Democratic strategy might not be enough

Last Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee made public the consideration of two articles of impeachment against President Trump: one for abuse of power and the other for obstruction of Congress.

Although the party leadership expects only a few legislators to vote against impeachment, getting the support of a single Republican is virtually impossible.

From the beginning, Republican legislators have attacked the procedure by calling it a "political coup," "illegal process," and "witch-hunt," demanding public hearings and the president's right to defend himself, all that the Democratic majority has agreed to.

The Republican Party has gone to the extreme of endorsing widely dismantled conspiracy theories about Russian interference in the 2016 elections, desperately trying to find some legality in Trump's actions.

The picture, meanwhile, is of a political game at the expense of the erosion of democracy.

5. An unknown terrain

While Richard Nixon resigned and Bill Clinton was acquitted in the Senate, the future of Donald Trump's impeachment is uncertain.

On Wednesday, for the third time in the country's modern history, the House Judiciary Committee panel discussed with evidence in hand the removal of a president.

According to the New York Times, while the Democrats had the Constitution and the results of their investigation, the Republicans were reduced to tribalism and to attacking their opponents for "their negative to accept the legitimacy" of the president.

"This is as much about political expediency as anything else," said the top Republican on the panel, Representative Doug Collins of Georgia.

After Thursday's vote, which will likely have a Democratic majority in the House, the way forward is unknown.

Republicans in the Senate, who hold the majority, outlined a strategy for a "brief impeachment trial" earlier this year, the Washington Post explained.

Several Republican senators said that "it would be better to limit the trial and quickly vote to acquit Trump, rather than engage in what could become a political circus.”

Perhaps it's too late for that, since the colorful tent has been set up in the White House garden for at least three years.


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