Donald Trump is charged

As the third president in the history of the United States, Donald Trump faces a formal impeachment process. The Washington House of Representatives decided on Wednesday evening to bring charges against the Republican president for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The result was never in question - the Democrats have the simple majority in the Chamber of Parliament to bring charges.

Nevertheless, the unity of the parliamentary groups was remarkable: the Democrats, with a few exceptions, voted for impeachment on Wednesday, all Republicans voted against. The evaluations were correspondingly contradictory. The House of Representatives had no choice but to indict Trump, said Democrat Adam Schiff, who led the investigation against Trump on the intelligence committee. "Our democracy is in danger." The president called the impeachment in a tweet, however, an "attack on America".

The first point of impeachment charges, approved by 230 votes to 197, relates to Trump's dealings with Ukraine. The Democrats accuse the President of having pressured the Kiev government to open a legal investigation against former US Vice President and now Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. To this end, Trump delayed the payment of military aid to Ukraine, among other things. The Democrats alleged that he had abused his office and his power as president in order to gain a personal political advantage with the help of a foreign government. Biden has good prospects of running as the Democratic candidate against Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

The second count, passed by 229 votes to 198, relates to Trump's refusal to hand over important documents to the parliamentary committees investigating the Ukraine affair and to allow government officials to testify. In doing so, according to the Democrats, the President has obstructed the awareness-raising work of Congress.

The indictment will now be sent to the Senate, where the impeachment trial against Trump is due to take place in early 2020. Since the Republicans hold 53 of the 100 seats in this Congress Chamber, it is practically impossible that the necessary two-thirds majority for a conviction of Trump will come together. To do this, 20 Republicans would have to vote against the president. So Trump will likely stay in office despite the indictment.

Since the founding of the USA, the House of Representatives has only passed impeachment proceedings three times: in 1868 against Andrew Johnson, in 1998 against Bill Clinton, and in 2019 against Trump. There was no Senate majority for a guilty verdict with Johnson and Clinton. President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 on the impending House indictment and Senate conviction.