The speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi (Democrat), confirmed on Tuesday September 24 the beginning of investigations for an impeachment process against president Trump. He is accused of pressuring the president of Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate, and his son for acts of corruption and concealment that took place in that country. They understand that this is an attempt to influence the electoral process in the US in coordination with a foreign government. This development came after a complaint by an intelligence officer about the content of a telephone conversation between the presidents of the United States and Ukraine, denouncing several attempts of White House officials to cover up that call was revealed.
The Democratic Party has the necessary majority in the House of Representatives to approve the impeachment. The final decision would then pass to the Senate after the trial itself. Then, there would be a 2/3 majority vote necessary to approve Trump’s impeachment. This implies that the final instance falls on a chamber controlled by the Republican Party.
The 2020 presidential elections are the background of this situation. The leadership of the Democratic Party had previously rejected several requests to initiate investigations leading to a political trial against Trump. These requests came from representatives of the “progressive” wing of the party like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. However, the Democratic leadership feared that advancing down this path could weaken its electoral strategy of presenting itself as the moderate option of the establishment against Trump’s excesses. Simultaneously, the Democrats tried to prevent such a process from destabilizing the political regime and the US economy. The recent turn in events is explained by the fact that the presidential candidate of the Democratic establishment, Joe Biden, is at the centre of the storm. Simultaneously, they try to appear as consistent in their confrontation with Trump.
For its part, the Republican Party also shows its internal conflicts. Though it has the majority in the Senate to avoid Trump´s destitution, there are dissident voices that are in favor of the impeachment. Trump, for his part, is on the offensive and has publicly revealed the conversations he had with the Ukrainian president and even called for the arrest for treason of the Democratic representative that is at the head of the Intelligence Committee of that chamber. The Republican majority in the Senate is torn between accompanying Trump´s counter-offensive, that seems to be determined to bet on polarizing, or changing its course on the eve of the electoral year.
The events of the past weeks in the US are symptomatic of the state of the political regime of the main imperialist country in the world. Political polarization has been a fundamental element of the political scene throughout Trump’s presidency. Hundreds of thousands have protested in the streets against the racist and misogynist president, who denies climate change and rules for the richest 1%.
The Democratic Party tries to take advantage of the discontent and channel it through the institutional path of impeachment and strengthen its electoral perspective for 2020. That is why they limit their arguments against Trump and in favour of an impeachment to a terrain that is safe for the establishment, the defence of national security and the institutions of the regime.
The struggle against Trump cannot be limited to the narrow margins defined by the Democratic Party. It was precisely this party that created the conditions for Trump´s victory in 2016. That is why the struggle in the streets against Trump, the whole regime and the system is essential, as is the construction of an alternative against the two parties of the big corporations.