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Review 2019: Exit from Mueller Investigation to Entering Impeachment

Re-reading a book is not a common practice, but taking a look back at the year, as it ends, appears necessary.

Only a set of 12 months left of Donald Trump’s presidency, and the United States seems to have had a lot. Another year is about to leave, with plenty of his ever-increasing bad decisions, abrupt policies, absurd tweets, consistent controversies, gruff remarks and the Democrat-demanded impeachment.

The United States entered into 2019 with a government shutdown due to Mexico border wall and an inconsiderate president, who organized a fast food dinner for Clemson University’s football team at the White House, while much of the staff remained unpaid. Besides, the Democrats threw their campaign cards in air, as they took hold of the House of Commons and Nancy Pelosi was elected as its speaker.

Since then, Trump’s second half in White House so far, appeared to be on a roller coaster at full speed. On receiving the notable claps from Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence for record-long government shutdown to several resignations, and from escaping the Mueller report to being impeached, it’s a lot to recall.

Prolonged Probe into Russian Meddling

The celebrations of Donald Trump’s win in 2016 presidential elections continued through to the third year, until the Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation. On March 22, the US Attorney General William P Barr received the concluded report of the detailed investigation, decried as a “Witch Hunt” by the US President.

Barr submitted the summary of the 448-page report to public on March 24, highlighting that no conspiracy was found against the President or his aides, “despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign”.

However, 12 out of the 14 cases addressed in the report were redacted, and several things remained unaddressed. They majorly include the complete absence in report of the online manipulation of political views by the SCL Group’s data mining firm Cambridge Analytica, the links between Trump Organization and Alfa Bank computer servers, as well as the secret meetings and influence-peddling by the Middle Eastern countries like the United Arab Emirates targeting Trump’s potential administration.

In June, The New York Times published a report revealing the contacts of Trump campaign with Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ), the de-facto ruler of Abu Dhabi. However, the President came out clean from the Russian meddling charges, despite nearly two years of the Mueller investigation.

Major Events and Decisions

With Democrats reclaiming majority in the House in 2018 Mid-term elections, this year began with a record number of women elected to Congress. Another record-breaker was Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib becoming the first two Muslim congresswomen in nation’s history.

Democrats also geared up for the 2020 presidential elections, where several names came up for the candidacy. By the end of the year, Senator Elizabeth Warren, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Bernie Sanders and the former vice president Joe Biden remain the top four names on the top of presidential candidates.

Donald Trump declared a national emergency in February, to release funds for a south border wall. He also issued the first veto of his presidency in March, in order to strike down a Senate resolution to end his national emergency declaration.

In May, the President banned Huawei with a national security order. The Chinese tech giant, later, stated that it would significantly harm American companies and will leave the nation “lagging behind in 5G deployment”.

In August, the American financer Jeffrey Epstein, accused of operating a sex-trafficking ring from 2002 to 2005 and paying young girls for sex, committed suicide by hanging himself in a Manhattan jail. The two on-duty guards, in November, were charged of conspiracy and filing false records about being irresponsible during working hours.

The US also moved steps ahead in its fight against terrorism. In September, Trump confirmed that son of late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Hamza bin Laden was killed in an American counter terrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. Besides, a month after, Trump also confirmed the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ideological leader of the Islamic State.

Another major highlight of the year was the escalated tensions between the United States and Iran, whose affect was seen in the Persian Gulf. In May, the Trump administration deployed additional 1,500 troops in the Middle East to counter “credible threats” from Iran. It also blamed Iran for the attacks on the oil facilities of Saudi Arabia, in September. Besides, the White House continued imposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic, while the Middle Eastern nation ended its year amidst a protest over economic crisis.

America also witnessed a widespread of anti-Semitic, Islamophobia and anti-immigrant ideology. The country saw nearly 20 gun violence cases in schools, this year. Besides, the mass killings hit a new high, with 41 such cases including 33 mass shootings. As per the reports, over 210 people died in such attacks.

Trump’s Impeachment

Although Donald Trump’s name was written in Green in the Mueller report, he came under a new controversy in September. The President was alleged of misusing his power and breaking the law by persuading the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to fetch information about Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy firm, and his father Joe Biden, a front-runner in the Democratic primaries.

Placing Trump’s presidency in a jeopardy, Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally announced an impeachment inquiry, on September 24. Months after, on December 18, the Democrat-held House of Representatives voted 230-197 in favor of Trump’s impeachment on two charges, including abuse of power and the obstruction of Congress. However, Trump will only be removed, if senators of Republican party turn against him.

Just shy of the third anniversary of his presidency, Trump became the third US President to be impeached. Entering into the 2020 with an impeached President, the United States is certainly going to have the most unusual new year of all times.

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