The political battle going on at the top of US society has reached a new pitch. US speaker of the Senate Nancy Pelosi announced last week that formal impeachment proceedings are set to begin against president Donald Trump.
A member of the CIA alleged that Trump used “the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 US election”.
He is accused of withholding military aid from Ukraine to pressure Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son.
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has now been ordered to hand over documents relating to the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine.
Trump denies any wrongdoing. But a transcript of a phone call between the two presidents on 25 July suggest that Trump pushed repeatedly for an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden.
Trump has accused Joe Biden of trying to orchestrate the dismissal of a prosecutor who was looking into Burisma Holdings—Ukraine’s biggest gas company. Hunter Biden began working for the firm in 2014.
The allegations have been made without any evidence. They are thought to be an attempt by Trump to undermine Joe Biden’s potential upcoming election campaign.
Impeachment could topple Trump. But no one should become too complacent.
Even if charges are brought against him, it is thought that at least 35 Republican senators would have to vote for Trump’s removal. And his repeated dismissal of the allegations as “false news” still resonates with those who are willing to vote for him in the upcoming 2020 elections.
Trump could also try to use the events to pose as anti-establishment. And the threat of impeachment could distract from the real attacks that Trump is still driving through.
On Thursday the US State Department announced that it was slashing the number of refugees accepted into the country to 18,000.
The announcement did not include the fact that a number of these spaces have already been allocated to specific groups of refugees, such as Iraqis who worked with the US military.
This means there is less scope for dealing with an unexpected crisis.
And alongside the cuts, states and cities have been given the option to turn away refugees if they wish. Vulnerable people trying to escape war and poverty face deportation or life in detention centres.
Meanwhile, Trump is continuing to move closer to war with Iran, recently increasing economic sanctions again.
The threat of impeachment has not forced Trump to scale back on his racism or his attacks on working class people. And the process will take months, leaving him free to run a right wing election campaign.
There is a danger that the battle to push Trump out is left to manoeuvres by a handful of people at the top of US society.
Instead, there needs to be more struggle on the ground led by ordinary people. The recent strikes by General Motors workers across the US are an example of the kind of resistance that can take on Trump.