For the third time in its recent history, the United States is facing a possible impeachment process. There is serious concern over the fact that this extraordinary process might be rooted in another suspicion of unfair electoral competition.
The procedure leading to President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry imposes, not only on Congress but on the other branches of the U.S. government, a strong commitment to transparency and openness towards the welfare of the nation.
The result should adjudicate the facts, without doubts, and without partisan passion and interests. The route to impeachment begins one year after the presidential elections in a politically and socially polarized nation. It comes from a vote in a House divided mainly by partisan lines.
At this stage, it is urgent that every Representative and Senator without exception thoroughly examines the merits of the evidence and the testimonies to be considered. The findings must help to strengthen systems and before any domestic or foreign interference. Helping to end or worsen American polarization also depends on lawmakers´ work on this issue.
Beyond the outcome of this historic step that the U.S. House of Representatives has just started against the President, the major task of U.S. governmental institutions is to strengthen democracy and the integrity of the electoral system by strengthening immunity against foreign interventions and promoting social peace through transparent justice.
The process that could lead to a congressional impeachment process against President Trump points to alleged irregular acts motivated by the interest of undermining the opposition to gain an advantage in his re-election race. Trump would have allegedly attempted to use his presidential influence in U.S. foreign relations to derail former Vice President Joe Biden´s 2020 ambitions. These alleged acts deepen already existing doubts over the electoral system stemming from the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. In both cases, the White House denied irregularities.
So far, Republicans in Congress have closed ranks with Trump. Despite warnings from advisors, diplomats and the US federal intelligence itself that the President's repeated actions have jeopardized national security and the integrity of the election process, they insist on opposing impeachment.
However, the Constitution provides for this mechanism as a safeguard of the system of balances between government branches, to prevent the republic from becoming a dictatorship. The Constitution gives Congress the power to investigate whether, in effect, the presidential figure was involved in corruption acts and to remove him from office if necessary.
Members of Congress must conduct a process that dispels doubts and guarantees the soundness of democratic institutions. If impeachment takes place and charges are proven, Congress must go beyond removing the President from office. It is urgent to review the electoral, national security and government structures so that they don´t affect the will of citizens, freely expressed at the polls or the integrity of the presidential institution.
The work in the House of Representatives must ensure that the values of U.S. democracy prevail. Each man and woman representing the citizens of the fifty states bear the enormous weight of history. The United States can pass the test on its democratic institutions by putting aside partisan interests to reaffirm the nation's place as a model of freedom and justice for all.