Accusing US President Donald Trump of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to “take actions which would benefit him politically,” that is to investigate 2020 candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter and his shady business dealings in Ukraine, according to a whistleblower’s report, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) announced the start of an official impeachment inquiry on Tuesday evening.
The probe is not itself an act of impeachment, and must yet be authorized by a House vote. But even if the Democrat-controlled chamber goes along with Pelosi, the motion would still need to be greenlighted by a two-thirds majority in the Republican-controlled Senate.
The move is a double-edged sword and could very well backfire, effectively handing Trump his second term on a silver platter, Patillo said.
“If it does not work, it guarantees reelection for Trump, basically. If there’s no overwhelming national support for the impeachment of the president, that can backfire warily,” Patillo said, while arguing that Trump is himself partially to blame for the new twist in the impeachment saga, as he “basically left Democrats with no option.”
Pelosi “set today in motion who will win the next elections” with her announcement, IHEARTRADIO host Scott Sands agreed, adding that it can “go either way.”
“How many of the people voting actually care? It’s all about the economy. In Ohio I don’t know anybody, and we talk to a lot of people on our radio show every day, that care about impeachment.”
Pelosi ‘caught between a rock and a hard place’
While announcing the start of a formal impeachment inquiry, Pelosi tried to “walk a fine line” satisfying the left wing of her Democratic party and, at the same time, leaving it for the House to decide if the inquiry goes forward, John William Loudon, former Republican member of the Missouri Senate, told RT.
“She’s is caught between a rock and a hard place,” Loudon said.
“She is stuck between hard-left flank of her party that wants to take extreme measures and block the president and obstruct whenever they can and the people who think this makes no sense.”
Speaking about the timing of the announcement – which, according to Trump himself was intended to rob him of “success” at the UN General Assembly – Loudon suggested that Democrats wanted to deflect attention from yet another setback in the Russiagate scandal, which has nearly fizzled out.
“I think they’re doing to run interference out of a major announcement today, that has not become really public, that Michael Flynn’s business partner has been exonerated today by a judge,” Loudon said, adding “I think they are covering up this news because it impugns the whole Mueller investigation.”
Trump promised to publish the transcript of the call with the Ukrainian leader, with US officials telling media that the whistleblower’s complaint will also be released. However, that did little to placate the #NeverTrump resistance crowd. The call to publicize the complaint was echoed by the Republicans in the Senate, but it’s too early to speak of a revolt within the GOP ranks, Loudon believes.
“There was definitely some back-channel discussions, they are not going to do something to embarrass the president, especially something that is so groundbreaking as this.”