The U.S. and U.K. leaders found themselves in troubling waters on Tuesday. Here is your brief rundown.
Tuesday was a monumental day for both sides of the pond in the U.K. and in the U.S. as the leaders of both countries have found themselves in rather deep waters. On the same day, the U.K. Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister Johnson’s proroguing of Parliament was unlawful, and U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry of President Trump after Ukrainian corruption scandal.
Let’s Talk About The Trump In The Room
And it’s a particularly heinous one at that.
U.S. President Donald Trump has this week been embroiled in yet another scandal but this time it’s not going away.
Last month an intelligence community whistleblower filed a complaint regarding a phone call between U.S. President Trump and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25 of this year. The complaint was not shared with Congress by the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, even though an inspector general who handled the complaint deemed it “credible” and “urgent”.
The complaint detailed a phone call with a foreigner leader and some sort of “promise” but the details of the complaint have not been publicly released.
It is now believed that President Trump may have promised something to the Ukrainian President for their aid in an investigation into former Vice President and 2020 Presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden is polling as Trump’s biggest rival so far in the upcoming 2020 Presidential election.
It was later released that almost $400 million in aid funding was temporarily withheld from Ukraine by the White House in the summer. It is thought that this could have been used to coerce the Ukrainian President into complying with Trump’s alleged request for corruption investigations into Joe and Hunter Biden. Trump has since made multiple varying statements as to why this aid was temporarily withheld.
If such events were true then Trump could be found guilty of enlisting a foreigner agency for the purposes of meddling in a presidential election. An allegation which rings eerily familiar to the Robert Mueller investigation between the Russian interference of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election and then Presidential candidate Donald Trump. This also comes after allegations of obstruction of justice following said Mueller report, and profiting off of the presidency after Vice President Mike Pence stayed at a Trump hotel in Ireland nearly 200 miles away from Dublin, where he was set to visit.
As of late, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA 12th District) has been famously wary of the prospect of impeaching President Trump, amid fears that it would alienate voters. However, on Tuesday Pelosi announced that the House will begin a formal impeachment inquiry of President Trump amid a rise in calls to do so from one hundred and eighty Democrats (out of the 235-member caucus). Some have even gone as far as calling for drafting of articles of impeachment. It seems that this newest Ukrainian scandal has worn thin the Democrat’s patience and forced Pelosi’s hand.
Meanwhile, President Trump authorised the release of the “complete” and “unredacted” transcript of his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The Unlawful Johnson
And no, we’re not talking about your Snapchat.
Following the U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s controversial move to prorogue Parliament for five weeks, until October 14, the U.K. Supreme Court heard evidence last week for two appeals: one against the London High Court ruling that this was not a matter for the courts to decide; and another against the Scottish appeals court ruling the prorogation to be unlawful.
Proroguing, or suspending, Parliament is a rather usual thing to do for a new government, so it can outline its policies in a Queen’s speech at the end of the prorogation. However, due to the timing and unusual length of Johnson’s prorogation in the lead up to the October 31 Brexit deadline, many believed he was attempting to stop Parliamentary scrutiny of his Brexit strategy. As is normal, Parliament does not vote on its prorogation, that prerogative rests with the Monarch, on the advice of the Privy Council and the current Prime Minister.
On Tuesday, the U.K. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that PM Johnson’s prorogation was “unlawful” and that his advice to Her Majesty was “unlawful, void and of no effect”.
Speaking from New York, Prime Minister Johnson said on Tuesday that he “strongly disagree[s] with what the justices have found” and that he doesn’t think that “it’s right” but would “respect it”. He went on to say that there is “a good case for getting on with a Queen’s speech anyway” and that the most important thing is that “we get on and deliver Brexit”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, amongst others, have called for Johnson’s resignation but as of yet PM Johnson has not commented on whether he is intending to resign following the Supreme Court ruling.