Impeachment Watch: Week 6

By: Liv George | Contributing Writer

The impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump marches forward into The Vanguard’s sixth week of coverage. House Democrats are currently strategizing how to write the Articles of Impeachment in such a way that all relevant material is included in the articles, so none of the investigation findings fall to the wayside in the trial. Sources to CNN state that the current track is set for an impeachment vote before Christmas. 

The inquiry has brought an onslaught of important judicial precedent, set by the federal judges responding to motions from President Trump attempting to limit the scope of the Democratic investigation.

This week, two very important decisions were made by the federal courts. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson handed down her ruling earlier today on the subpoena of Don McGahn, special counsel to the President. The subpoena was challenged by the White House on the basis that lawyer-client confidentiality remains intact, even during legal proceedings. Judge Brown Jackson struck this down, saying to CNN, “Presidents are not Kings.” She did, however, decide that he could refrain from answering certain questions during his testimony. The White House and the Justice Department both claim to be making an appeal on this decision in the upcoming week.

The Supreme Court handed down a very controversial judgment this Monday when President Trump’s emergency protection order over his finances was granted. The Supreme Court gave President Trump a tight deadline to file a brief as to why it is pertinent for this information to stay out of his impeachment hearings. The justices scheduled a meeting in which both sides could argue for the finance records being involved in the investigation. 

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Gordon Sondland, the US Ambassador to the European Union gave his shocking public testimony last week before the House Judiciary Committee. In this, he recounted his terror at realizing that virtually everyone he worked with was a part of the quid pro quo deal with Ukraine. He also corroborated this with his own experience, citing that he pressured Ukraine on President Trump’s behalf to begin an investigation into the Bidens. He, however, maintains that President Trump and his team were using the alias “Burisma” to refer to the Bidens in negotiation. This particular piece of testimony was corroborated by Volker, an envoy to Ukraine.

Sondland implicated several high-ranking Republicans as being a part of the scheme–namely Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. 

Most of Sondland’s testimony added another layer of confirmation to the allegations made in previous testimonies. However, his testimony about the politics of the Biden investigation was very telling.

The most vital component of the quid pro quo deal was that Ukraine formally announces their probe into the Biden family–effectively turning this into a political maneuver rather than one in the name of justice. 

There is another week of testimony up ahead, so tune in next week to The Vanguard as we track the Trump impeachment inquiry.