Impeachment Inquiry Reaches Day 11

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Win McNamee/Getty Images


We ran the numbers: There are 4483 news articles covering this topic. 56% (2521) are left leaning, 32% (1420) center, 12% (542) right leaning.

This week, the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump reached its eleventh day, as House Democrats continue to attempt to gather information about Trump’s attempts to solicit help from foreign governments in investigating Joe Biden and his son’s business dealings in Ukraine. As the impeachment process unfolds, Trump has continued his strategy of mounting his own defense against accusations of wrongdoing, claiming that the Democrats are seeking to unseat him because of their disappointment at the results of the 2016 election.

Left-leaning coverage of the ongoing impeachment process from the New York Times focuses on Republicans’ strategy for defending the president from the allegations against him. The article notes that Trump has been undertaking his own defense to a significant degree on Twitter. Republican elected officials, meanwhile, are focusing on the narrative that Trump did not do anything wrong in asking Ukraine for help in investigating Biden, that there was no quid pro quo implied in the phone call (i.e. Ukraine would investigate Biden in exchange for military aid from the US), and that Democrats are fixated on the goal of impeaching Trump. Additionally, the article notes, “borrowing a page from Democrats during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, Republicans are also working to demonize the leaders of the inquiry.”

A right-leaning article from Fox News hewed to the narrative outlined in the Times article, with the headline “Democrats will 'stop at nothing to impeach Trump' but can't define latest 'crime,' GOP lawmaker says.” According to the article, the lawmaker, House Judiciary Committee member Greg Steube, said that there was nothing in the whistleblower complaint to justify an impeachment inquiry. Many right-leaning articles noted that the House has not yet held a full vote for an impeachment inquiry and that Trump has said he will refuse to cooperate until they do. However, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has pointed out that a full House vote is not required in order to begin an impeachment inquiry..

While the right and left tended to focus on the political reactions to the impeachment inquiry, centrist coverage from USA Today instead emphasized the substance of the accusations against Trump. The article summarized a series of text messages between former US special envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, and other US diplomats in the days leading up to and following Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. House Democrats released the texts on Thursday after Volker spent the day testifying behind closed doors as part of the House’s impeachment inquiry. House Republicans, the article notes, called the messages a cherry-picked selection. The messages center on arranging the call between Trump and Zelensky and on whether the request should involve a quid pro quo.