NOVEMBER 2019 UPDATE:
Since the impeachment inquiry began, Congressional leaders have listened to testimony from key witnesses who gave their thoughts on whether Trump used bribery and extortion to try to get Ukrainian leaders to interfere in the 2020 presidential election. Trump’s conservative buddies tried to put up a fight, but on October 31st, the House approved a resolution to move the impeachment inquiry forward.
Now, beginning Wednesday, November 13th, the House will hold public hearings with witnesses. Whereas previous testimony happened privately, now we’ll all get to hear for ourselves.
You’ve probably heard the news: Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the U.S. House are launching an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. That’s a big deal. Impeachment has only happened twice in our country’s history, and the first time was back in the days of horses and buggies.
It’s a rare and complicated process, and naturally there will be a lot of questions. What did he do? Why does it matter? What’s going to happen? And what do Minnesota’s elected leaders in Washington D.C. think about the whole thing?
Here’s everything you need to know:
What did Trump do?
It’s illegal and wrong for anybody to seek foreign interference to help win an election, but Trump’s no stranger to lying and bending the rules in his favor. True to form, his most recent scandal is straight out of a political drama.
According to the whistleblower complaint, in July of this year, Trump threatened to withhold aid from Ukraine unless Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, agreed to cooperate with his attorneys to dig up dirt on American lawyer Hunter Biden.
Hunter Biden’s dad, former Vice President Joe Biden, is one of Trump’s 2020 rivals.
It doesn’t take a legal expert to see the problem there.
What happens now?
On September 24th, Speaker Pelosi announced that the House would launch an impeachment inquiry, and requested a full transcript of the call where Trump allegedly tried to bully President Zelensky into doing him a political favor. They got a memo, but it’s still pretty damning.
Now it’s up to the House to look into the evidence. In the cases of President Nixon and President Clinton, the impeachment began in the Judiciary Committee, but Speaker Pelosi may choose to form a separate committee. The committee will vote on whether to send the impeachment inquiry to the House floor, where the House will vote on it. If the House votes to impeach, the question of impeachment moves to a Senate trial.
What do MN lawmakers think?
There are two members of the House delegation that could, depending on the scope of inquiry, be involved in proceedings: Dean Phillips and Tom Emmer, who are both on the Financial Services committee. Congressman Phillips supports the inquiry. Congressman Emmer, a conservative, does not.
Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, as well as progressive Representatives Betty McCollum, Ilhan Omar, and Angie Craig all support the inquiry. Cheating at a presidential election is a serious crime, and our progressive leaders want to make sure Minnesotans get all the facts.
Meanwhile, conservative Representatives Pete Stauber and Jim Hagedorn are joining Emmer in sitting on their hands and making excuses.
What can I do?
Whether or not Trump is impeached, his disastrous policies and shady deals are hurting Minnesotans right here, right now. While our progressive leaders in Washington D.C. are looking into Trump’s crimes, we can work together here in Minnesota to stop Trump’s harmful agenda. Sign up to receive news and action alerts from ABM, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest.