In September 2019, the Democrats initiated an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. The impeachment concerned Trump’s attempts to get the Ukrainian president to dig up dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and Trump’s threat to withdraw US military aid to force him to do so.

Predictably, the Republican-majority Senate acquitted Trump of all charges in early February. But instead of furthering resistance, Trump’s approval ratings have actually increased to a record high of 49 per cent.

However, the impeachment was never really about ousting Trump. No US president has ever been removed from office via impeachment. Very few people expected the required 19 Republican senators to side with the Democrats to find him guilty. Nor was the impeachment designed to bolster the struggle against Trump in the streets and workplaces.

While Trump is certainly guilty of pressuring the Ukrainian president, there is a long list of more serious crimes by this racist, sexist, billionaire president.

Instead, the impeachment positioned the Democrats to defend the reputation of the Democratic establishment’s favoured presidential candidate, Joe Biden, and champion the interests of US imperialism.

The US-Ukraine alliance

The proceedings had more to do with the fact that the US security establishment does not trust Trump. Since 2014, Ukraine has been a key pro-Western bulwark against Russia. By threatening to withdraw military aid from Ukraine, Trump risked undermining the relationship between the US and Ukraine and the wider interests of US imperialism.

They have similar concerns over Trump’s admiration of Putin, and his erratic behaviour in the Middle East—pulling out of Syria, tearing up the anti-nuclear deal with Iran and the latest Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

The failed impeachment effort has been quickly overshadowed by the Democratic primaries to select their presidential candidate to take on Trump. But for people who really want to defeat Trump the Democrat establishment’s commitment to US capitalism is a serious obstacle.

The teachers’ strikes, the women’s marches, and the militant protests against Trump’s anti-Muslim travel bans have shown the real power to resist Trumps’ policies and finally remove him from office.  

By Daniel Cotton

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