Impeached: Donald Trump, Blackmail, and Obstructing Justice
Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, has been impeached. This historic moment occurred last night (UK time) following two votes in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. This comes after months of hearing and scrutinising evidence, and we at BabyStep stayed up until the early hours to watch the verdict live so that we could sum up what we heard.
The process of impeachment is reserved for the highest crimes, where a president is believed to have used their power for personal gains, or to commit offences against their own country or people. In the case of Donald Trump, his main crime is this:
Trump used his power to try and force another country to interfere in the upcoming US election. It is believed that Trump tried to blackmail the Ukrainian president in to investigating American politician Joe Biden for corruption (based on no evidence). If Ukraine refused to do this, Trump threatened to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of military aid to the struggling European democracy. This point is vital, as Ukraine has essentially been partially invaded by Russia in recent years, and Trump only seemed willing to help if he could get something back in return.
That "something back" was help from Ukraine to tarnish the reputation of a leading political rival in the run-up to the next US election, which Trump very sorely wants to win.
As the Democrats fight for what they believe is the fabric of American democracy, the Republicans have tried to halt this entire process. The Democrats have won the first battle, successfully impeaching the president. However, if Trump is going to be removed from office, the Republican-controlled Senate will also have to agree next year.
Stranger things have happened.