This Week: Impeachment Looms
The news cycle was dominated this week by a whistleblower complaint about President Trump’s call to Ukraine to pressure the country to investigate Joe Biden, a call that led House Democrats to begin impeachment proceedings against the president. Although the biggest implications of the Ukraine scandal are, of course, to Trump’s presidency, the impeachment proceedings will also likely have a significant effect on the 2020 Democratic primary.
Firstly, the Ukraine scandal directly concerns frontrunner Joe Biden. In his call to Ukraine, Trump was attempting to pressure the country’s leaders to investigate financial dealings that Biden and his son Hunter had in Ukraine. Biden’s centrality to the Ukraine scandal does put him at potential risk, the investigation may also help him, as it affords him the opportunity to directly counter Trump in a way that voters may find appealing.
Impeachment is likely to be a major issue for candidates moving forward in the primary. Most candidates have condemned Trump for his interactions with Ukraine, and Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro have both called the summary of the call between Trump and Ukraine a “smoking gun.” Warren was the first major candidate to call for Trump’s impeachment but has refrained from making this demand a centerpiece of her campaign. Warren has risen significantly in the polls this week and is threatening to overtake Biden as the frontrunner.
Tulsi Gabbard also saw a rise in polling this week, leading her to qualify for the next Democratic debate in October. She is the twelfth candidate to qualify; all twelve candidates are expected to appear on the same stage in Ohio on October 15.
Also this week, Bernie Sanders announced a plan for a wealth tax that could cut billionaires’ wealth in half in fifteen years. The tax could raise over $4 trillion after a decade of being in place.