This Week: Impeachment Drama and Bernie Health Worries
This week, media attention continued to focus on the impeachment proceedings against President Trump. The House has issued subpoenas for several people with knowledge of the Ukraine scandal to testify before Congress. The subpoenas include Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani as well as five State Department officials with knowledge of the situation. On Wednesday, House Democrats announced that they have moved to compel the White House to cooperate with the impeachment proceedings. The Democrats plan to issue subpoenas for various documents if theTrump administration continues to block the release of information surrounding Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine. Meanwhile, Trump has continued to slam Democrats’ impeachment efforts, calling them a “coup.” In a Thursday press gaggle, the president called for China and Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter for corruption, despite the fact that such calls for foreign assistance is the reason Trump is facing impeachment.
The ongoing impeachment drama has continued to shape the 2020 presidential race and likely will continue to do so until voting begins next November. Since the news of a whistleblower complaint against Trump broke on September 20, Elizabeth Warren has gained significantly in the polls, while her fellow frontrunner Joe Biden has slipped. This may be due to the fact that Trump’s dealings with the Ukrainian government involved a request for help in investigating Biden and his son Hunter for alleged corruption in their business dealings in the country. However, many Democrats have defended Biden, and there is no evidence that he was engaged in improper activity in Ukraine. All the candidates have expressed at least some support for the impeachment proceedings. Additionally, a left-leaning analysis from FiveThirtyEight suggests that Warren stands to gain from the impeachment drama either because Biden supporters may defect to her or she may simply end up in first place by default as Biden loses support. An analysis of summer fundraising shows that Warren raised the second-most funds in the past three months, following only Bernie Sanders.
Sanders, for his part, had a significantly more difficult week than his competitors. At an event on Tuesday night, Sanders was experiencing chest discomfort; a medical evaluation revealed a blockage in one of his arteries that required surgery to insert two stents. Sanders cancelled his campaign events for the remainder of the week and took time to recover in a Las Vegas hospital. Sanders used his health emergency to emphasize the importance of affordable and accessible healthcare, advocating for the Medicare for All proposal that has been a centerpiece of his campaign. Sanders’ wife Jane O’Meara Sanders said that while Sanders will be taking a few days off to rest, he is looking forward to participating in the next Democratic debate on October 15. That debate will be the largest one yet, as it is confirmed that twelve candidates will share the stage in Ohio.