After months of pushing back against members of her own party, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced late Tuesday afternoon that she was directing the formation of an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. What she means by “impeachment inquiry” is still somewhat murky since actual impeachment proceedings require a vote in the House.

At this point, Pelosi’s move looks to be the beginning of investigations by various House committees, controlled by Democrats, into crimes which may be grounds for impeachment. The move was finally pushed to this point, says Pelosi, by a whistleblower report of a phone call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president in which Trump reportedly pushed Ukraine to investigate the family of former Vice President Joe Biden, specifically his son Hunter. The backstory to that, and why Biden’s son has anything to do with Ukraine, is related to Hunter Biden’s seat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

This story is still evolving and may change rapidly, especially as the White House moves to release a full and unredacted transcript of the phone call in question, and the complete report filed by the anonymous whistleblower inside the government will also soon become public.

There are many, many political angles to this story, but we will focus on the 2020 presidential election angle and see what the candidates are saying and how their view on impeachment has changed over time.

Joe Biden

Up to this point, former vice president Joe Biden has been cool on impeachment. Back in early June, Biden said impeachment would be a “gigantic distraction” from the things that need to get done in the country.

More recently, after Pelosi’s move on Tuesday, Biden has warmed somewhat to the move of impeaching President Trump. Biden still qualified his statement saying that impeachment is warranted over the Ukraine phone call if and only if the White House tries to stonewall Congress in the release of information, such as transcripts of the call. In total, his position hasn’t changed much as he has consistently said on the record he is against impeachment unless and until the President does something that creates a scenario where it’s unavoidable, in Biden’s words.

Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has been a consistent and vocal supporter of launching impeachment investigations into President Trump for several months now. In late July, Warren had continued saying that the report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller was an “impeachment roadmap” that Congress should use to begin impeachment proceedings immediately.

More recently, this week, Warren reiterated her call for impeachment and said that up to this point, Congress has been derelict in its duty to hold the President accountable:

Warren has been consistently on the record in favor of impeachment so she will be pleased by the move on Tuesday from Speaker Pelosi.

Bernie Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has had a few varying positions on impeachment. Back in June, Sanders was very bullish on the prospects and said that he believes the House Judiciary Committee should immediately begin impeachment inquiries. He qualified the statement by saying he supports investigations into whether crimes were committed, but did not support impeachment, yet.

By July, Sanders was taking a slightly different tone warning his fellow Democrats that President Trump may be welcoming an impeachment fight since it could help energize Republican voters in 2020. “I am not certain that Trump does not want the Congress to go forward with impeachment where there may not be the votes to in fact impeach him,” Sanders said.

This week, however, Bernie said “enough is enough” and called on the process to begin:

Pete Buttigieg

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been tempered in the way he has answered questions about impeachment earlier in the year. Back in May, when the Mueller report came out, Buttigieg said it was as close to impeachment referral as it could be and it would be up to Congress to act and flesh out the details.

Later in June, at an MSNBC town hall, when further pressed on the topic, Buttigieg said he would vote in favor of impeachment if he was in Congress and that President Trump “deserves” impeachment.

On Tuesday, Buttigieg appeared on CNN to discuss his current views on the issue:

Kamala Harris

Sen. Kamala Harris of California has been a vocal supporter of impeachment for many months now. She was one of the first to begin support full-blown impeachment proceedings back in April of this year, months before some her colleagues. “I believe Congress should take the steps towards impeachment,” Harris said at the time.

On Tuesday, Harris spoke to reporters and provided a long list of reasons why she supports Pelosi’s move and thinks impeachment proceedings are long overdue. “I strongly believe that it is long past due that we begin impeachment proceedings against this President,” Harris said.

Harris also reiterated her support for Pelosi on twitter:

President Trump

President Donald Trump is the sitting president, but he’s also a 2020 candidate as well since he is the incumbent running for reelection. The President came out swinging, as expected on Tuesday, against Pelosi and House Democrats with a tirade of tweets. His first response was short and to the point:

The President also began hitting back against allegations that he abused his power in exerting influence over Ukraine when he spoke with the Ukrainian President:

What this all means?

For the presidential race, it means basically a continuation of the status quo unless something drastic is unearthed during investigations. In some respects, this hearkens back to the Mueller report and the ongoing daily political tit for tat between Trump and Congressional Democrats, and the 2020 Democratic candidates.

With the White House aiming to release a transcript of the call sometime today, and perhaps the whistleblower report that set off this firestorm as soon as it is cleared, this story is sure to change rapidly.

What does this mean for Joe Biden?

The other unexplored aspect of this story is whether there is truth to the allegation that Hunter Biden received some cushy board position within a Ukrainian energy company under nefarious circumstances. This question was allegedly being investigated by a Ukrainian prosecutor and it’s now claimed that Joe Biden, as Vice President, exerted power over the Ukraine government to end the investigation and fire the prosecutor. That investigation, which was abandoned, may be reopened by the Ukrain government, according to reports.

Other sources are calling the Hunter Biden connection “bogus.”

There are many moving parts to this story wrapped up in Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry. Some of the dust will settle over the next 24 hours and we will have a clearer picture of what it means for the race and the country moving forward.

11 COMMENTS

  1. What does this Democratic fiasco of impeachment of President Trump mean? The answer is really quite simple. It means the end of the Democratic party.?

    Do the Democrats really think that the American electorate is that stupid? Apparently so, they have gone from one perceived scandal to another. All but zealots will realize that the Democratic party especially the clowns in Congress is the biggest do nothing party of all time.?

    Nobody on this Earth is without sin, however the Democrats are trying to make President Trump look like Hitler, Stalin, Mao and any other tyrant you want to add rolled up in one.?

    A political analyst I recently saw on TV who is a leftist said that most people are getting sick and tired of all of the back stabbings of the Democratic party. In so many words this move by Pelosi will backfire on her and the rest in a monumental way. When the 2020 elections roll around I would be surprised if a Democrat running for any seat wins. In so many words they will be extinct.?

    • You have to think strategically. Impeachment doesn’t make sense for several reasons: (1) The Senate would not vote to remove, so it would appear that he was exonerated, (2) The public doesn’t like it, so as in 1998, it might anger the public against the party pushing Impeachment, and of course, (3) If Trump were impeached, Pence would take the office–someone who is extremely doctrinaire, whereas Trump is more of a pragmatist. If Dems were to succeed in taking the senate in 2020, it’s likely that Trump would compromise. And (4) Trump has no solid ideals. It’s quite likely that he could become a liberal again in his second term, so that history would see him as trying to please everybody. Wouldn’t it make more sense to just wait for the election?

      But here’s why Impeachment does make sense. (1) The Administration has withheld evidence, claiming that the Congress has no good reason to have it. If there were an official Impeachment proceeding, any and all evidence could be taken. (2) The Impeachment is a cloud over the office. Some people will think “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” So just the fact of investigation will suggest wrongdoing. (3) It would put Trump on the defensive going into the campaign.

      Personally, I don’t like the idea, but that’s why it’s being done now. And I think it explains why Pelosi has been trying to put it off. She didn’t want it to blow over too soon, as did the Mueller Report.

      • The Ukraine thing may elect Elizabeth Warren. As both Trump and Biden insist that they are innocent, the public may get sick of both of them. That’s good for Warren.

        Of course, we also have the Tulsi Gabbard element. She’s acting like Trump in 2016–“If you don’t pick me, I’ll wreck the Party.”

        • I know you hate Trump but I hope you are kidding about Warren. Electing Warren would be disastrous for our economy.

          This impeachment farce will only energize Trump’s supporters. It will also energize the independents who are tired of the Dems lack of progress.

          The Dems were given the house to do something. Not to create havock with a fantastic economy.

          Impeachment is serious. The GOP found that out with Clinton. The same will happen if President Trump isn’t allowed to govern.

          • I don’t hate Trump. I am just critical of politicians, and you only notice when your own boy is questioned.

            For instance, you didn’t notice that I slammed Tulsi–and you didn’t realize that I was saying she would then get him re-elected.

            • Oh yes I noticed. I always read your articles with interest. Why? You are very knowledgeable.

              It’s true I don’t like any article that quotes sources like the NYT. In the past the NYT was a reliable source for information. No longer. Way before their articles about Kavanaugh. The latest articles were way off the mark. The girl in question didn’t even recall the allegations. Nor did her friends.

              At first I didn’t like Trump and his brashness. But I came to like his straight talk. Anyone, I thought can deal with their friends, but Trump was willing to try and work with our enemies. Work with them without paying them.

              I’m tired of war. Too many come back without limbs.

            • That’s why I almost never use NYT or WaPo. Kneejerk complaints ensue. Besides, they both have pay walls, so I couldn’t quote them more than once or twice a month, even if I wanted to. I use Breitbart more than either of them, and Fox is probably the source I use the most. Check for yourself.

            • Thanks.

              Also, The reason I like Trump is because I’m sick and tired of yelling at the TV for somebody to do something. I really didn’t yell at the TV.

              In my days Johnson did something. I wasn’t in favor of all that he did but he did something.

              JFK did something. Unfortunately his tenure was cut short.

              Fast forward to Trump. He’s doing something. Yes, his wall is piecemeal. His infrastructure didn’t proceed. But infrastructure could happen. Too bad the GOP house he had fought him.

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