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Impeachment Probe Moves Forward as Political Rift Deepens in US

It is an historic action that foreshadows an even more divided political landscape for Americans with just over a year to go before the 2020 presidential election

By Huang Shaojie Updated Nov.8

In a deeply partisan vote, the US House of Representatives made an impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump - an historic action that foreshadows an even more divided political landscape for Americans just over a year before the 2020 presidential election, observers said.

All House Republicans voted no and all but two Democrats voted yes last Thursday to pass the resolution on how the impeachment process would proceed. It illustrates how “partisan interests come first and political polarization is only becoming worse in American politics,” said a commentator on Chinese website haiwainet.cn, an overseas version of the Party run People's Daily.

The Democrats investigated whether Trump abused his power by trying to enlist help from a foreign country to smear a political rival. The Republicans view this as a desperate attempt to destroy the president's chances for reelection next year, calling the investigation “a sham.”

“The Republicans have every motive to paint the impeachment as ‘illegal’ and turn the whole thing into ‘a political prosecution,’” said the commentator.

Public opinion is also split, said the commentator, citing polls that suggest a narrow majority of Americans are in favor of the inquiry but Trump still enjoys strong support within his party and in red states.

“This is what gives Trump the confidence to dismiss the impeachment as ‘the greatest witch-hunt in American history,’” said the commentator, and “one can only expect the fighting along party lines to worsen because, after all, the impeachment is still nothing but a spectacular display of the power struggle between the Democrats and the G.O.P.”