What is an Impeachment Inquiry?


Adallis Pantry

On September 24, 2019, The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, launched a formal impeachment inquiry regarding President Donald Trump. She announced that six committees would undertake formal impeachment inquiries, after reports about controversial interactions between Trump and the country of Ukraine. After weeks of investigating, Trump acknowledged that he asked Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenesky, to open investigations into Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company. At the time of the July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Zelensky for this “favor,” the U.S. president had also put a hold on nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine (latimes.com). Those actions, first disclosed in a whistleblower’s complaint are now at the center of the House impeachment inquiry. Trump insists the withholding of the aid was not related to his request that Ukraine investigates one of his leading political rivals in 2020. 

After initial talks of impeachment, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to speak about the topic, and Hamilton Student Kaya Rose (10), stated that “if you’re going to speak about impeachment, you don’t do it on Twitter.” Beyond saying it should be based on “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” the Constitution provides surprisingly little information governing how to impeach a sitting president. Just two presidents, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, have been impeached. President Richard Nixon resigned from office in 1974 when it became clear there were enough votes in the House to impeach him and in the Senate to remove him from office. As citizens, it is sometimes difficult to understand everything that goes on in the political world, and sometimes all we can do is “hope the process is fair and just” (Fen Horne- 10).