In the political history of the United States, three Presidents have gone through the impeachment process: Andrew Johnson in 1868, Richard Nixon in 1974, and Bill Clinton in 1998. Historians can now add President Donald Trump to the list after the House Judiciary Committee voted on two articles of impeachment to be heard by the Senate starting January 2020. There are two issues at heart: Trump’s pressured invitation of a foreign power to interfere in the American democratic process, and systematic obstruction of justice.
The 10th and final hearing of the Judiciary Committee featured laughable attempts by loyal Republicans to defend Trump, at least during morning sessions; by the evening, it seemed as if GOP leadership had instructed colleagues to stop the carnival. Things got ugly when Republican Representative Matt Gaetz tried to introduce the matter of Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, previously dealing with substance abuse issues.
It should be noted that Trump was recorded in a telephone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine trying to instigate a sham investigation on Hunter Biden and his role as a board member of Burisma, a state-sponsored Ukrainian oil company. The problem here is that Gaetz has been previously arrested for drinking and driving, a matter that his father, a prominent retired Florida politician, allegedly arranged to sweep under the carpet. This clear case of hypocrisy was not lost during the hearing, and it was quickly brought up by Democratic Representatives, thus making political analysts comment on just how low and desperate Trump’s legislative has turned.
Trump made the mistake of “live tweeting” the hearing, picking an argument with Democratic Representative Veronica Escobar from El Paso, who chided the U.S. President with a Russian greeting when he tried to defend the request he made to his Ukrainian counterpart. As bizarre as it sounds, Trump is trying to argue that he did not ask President Zelensky for a personal favor. Rather, he is trying to frame the scandalous phone call as if he said “do us a favor,” meaning that he was speaking on behalf of all Americans when he asked for political interference, which he later underscored by withholding military assistance to Ukraine, a country that is fighting rebel groups supported by Russian troops in the Donbass region.
Just hours after the final Judiciary Committee hearing, betting shops in Europe adjusted their odds for players who are placing wages on Trump getting kicked out of the White House next year. The line on impeachment at bookmakers such as Paddy Power, which is based in Ireland, was +425 to -800, which means that a $100 underdog bet would earn $800 if Trump somehow manages to stay in power. Some political analysts believe things could get worse for Trump once the FBI starts releasing information about an ongoing investigation on former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who appears to have taken the lead on the conspiracy to push Ukrainian prosecutors to come up with a sham investigation on the Biden family.