The first witnesses denounce a “highly irregular channel” for foreign policy towards Ukraine
WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 (EUROPE PRESS) –
The United States Congress on Wednesday welcomed the first public hearings in a new phase of the impeachment process against the president, Donald Trump, for alleged pressures on Ukraine to investigate a political rival, Democratic candidate Joe Biden, who They have begun with the devastating testimony of the highest diplomatic position in the European country.
The House of Representatives has become the epicenter of US policy by hosting the sessions of the mixed commission that has been trying to determine for months if there is a legal basis to press charges against Trump and unleash an impeachment process that could end his cease just one year from the next presidential elections.
In these months, the commission has questioned behind closed doors the witnesses of the alleged maneuvers of Trump and his closest collaborators to get the Ukrainian authorities to open an official investigation against Biden and his son Hunter for alleged corruption in their business with a company Energy of Ukraine.
The alarms were activated when the content of a telephone conversation that took place on July 25 between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodimir Zelenski, became known. “What you can do with the attorney general will be great,” the New York tycoon told him, according to the transcript released by the White House itself.
Now, in this series of public hearings that will take place between Wednesday and Friday, the commission will investigate whether Trump tried to condition the military aid that the United States provides to Ukraine, in the framework of the armed conflict in Donbas and the Russian annexation of Crimea , to investigations against the former Democratic Vice President and his son.
“The questions presented by this impeachment investigation are whether President Trump attempted to exploit the vulnerability of an ally and invite Ukrainian interference in our elections,” said the head of said commission, Adam Schiff, in his inaugural address.
“Our answer to these questions will affect not only the future of this Presidency, but the future of the Presidency itself and what kind of behavior or bad behavior the American people should expect from their commander in chief,” he said.
The top representative of the Republican Party in the commission, Devin Nunes, has made Schiff counterbalance, lowering the process of 'impeachment' to “a carefully orchestrated defamation campaign” that now leads to “a televised theatrical performance.”
The first to publicly declare have been the current US ambassador to Kiev, William Taylor, and the person responsible for foreign policy towards Ucrnaia in the State Department, George Kent.
Kent has denounced that “there seemed to be two channels for US foreign policy (towards Ukraine), one regular and the other highly irregular.” The second would be in the hands of Trump and his close circle: his personal lawyer Rudy Giulaini; his chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney; Energy Secretary Rick Perry; the ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland; and former special envoy for Kiev Kurt Volker.
Taylor has said that, through an assistant of his who heard a telephone conversation between Sondland and Trump, he learned that the president asked the ambassador about the “investigations”, to which he replied that the Ukrainians were “prepared to move on “.
The day after this telephone conversation, the assistant asked Sondland directly what Trump thought about Ukraine. “He replied that the president cared more about Biden's investigations, for which Giuliani was pushing.”
At this point, Schiff wanted to ask Taylor to confirm that, according to his account, Trump was more interested in the eventual investigation of the Biden than in foreign policy towards Ukraine. “Yes, sir,” the American diplomat replied.
“I do not believe that the United States should ask other countries to engage in selective and politically motivated investigations against opponents to those in power because such actions undermine the rule of law,” Kent said.
With these public hearings, which are being broadcast live by the main televisions and are expected to have a considerable audience, the mere investigation phase is closed.
Once concluded, the commission will have to decide whether to press charges against Trump, which would lead to the impeachment process in the strict sense, that is, a political trial in the Senate that would end his acquittal or dismissal.
Only three US presidents have undergone an 'impeachment'. The first was Andrew Johnson after the civil war and, more recently, Bill Clinton, who was tried and acquitted for lying about his relationship with former White House Fellow Monica Lewinski. Richard Nixon, on the other hand, resigned before being dismissed by the 'Watergate'.
The political and media expectations for these open views contrast with the apparent disinterest of Trump himself. “I am too busy to see it … I am sure they will give me a summary,” he has told questions from the press from the White House. In addition, it has influenced that it is “a witch hunt”. “There is nothing,” he said.