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[BJNews] Diao Daming: How would Volker’s Resignation Affect “Trump’s Ukraine Scandal”?

Kurt D. Volker, the State Department’s special envoy for Ukraine’s negotiations, resigned on Friday as the Trump’s Ukraine call incident keeps simmering, became the first senior official in the Trump administration to step down since the Democrats in the House of Representatives took investigation and impeachment of American President Donald Trump.

A general understanding is that Volker was identified as involved in the “call scandal” according to the US intelligence officer’s report. It is believed that he not only helped Trump’s private lawyers meet with Ukrainian officials, but also to provide Ukrainian President Zelensky with advices on how to respond to Trump’s demands.

Volker’s resignation may give the Democratic Party incentives for further investigation.

At present, some facts show that the greatest driving force behind the Special Envoy’s “playing both sides of the fence” is that strengthening U.S.-Ukraine relations conforms to the geostrategic interests of the United States and he does not want that to be influenced by the change of the Ukrainian government.

Nevertheless, as a senior and professional Republican diplomat, Volker in colluding with foreign government is disappointing and intolerable to the public, which might also be one of the key reasons for his resignation.

Of course, Volker’s early exit does not mean he can have the privilege of staying out of the game, let alone the Trump administration. In the future, Volker’s role as a key witness will be activated. Presumably, the 54-year-old former high-ranking official of Trump’s administration will soon reappear at the question seat of a committee’s hearing in the House of Representatives.

Since the House of Representatives Speaker Pelosi announced the opening of impeachment investigation, many has doubted whether such a move is wise or not. After all, there is little possibility that Trump will be recalled for this impeachment; on the contrary, it will also affect Biden's election for the Democratic presidential primaries in 2020.

Hence, the public generally believes that the Democratic Party’s impeachment decision seems to have some kind of “knee-jerk reflex” haste, demonstrating the recklessness of the Democratic radicals.

However, the facts of Trump-Zelensky call and Trump’s unbridled acknowledgement of mentioning Biden and his son during the call leave the Democratic Party no choice but to launch impeachment proceedings if they wants to respond and fight back.

In this sense, Volker’s resignation today clearly proves from the side that some facts may indeed exist, which also provides reasons and motivations for the Democratic Party to continue its investigation.

Impeachment may be the most disgraceful stroke in President Trump’s political life.

In many details, the Democratic Party’s impeachment investigation into Trump may not be just about the “Ukraine call scandal”. In the past, some Democrats have been chasing Trump’s tax problem and Trump’s abuse of presidential power to make profits for private businesses.

In other words, the Democratic Party’s determination to initiate the impeachment process against Trump has been made clear, swearing not to stop.

The biggest goal the Democrats are likely to pursue at the moment is to make Trump the fourth president being impeached (but not eventually dismissed) in American history, thus marking the most disgraceful stroke in President Trump’s political life.

The Federal Constitution of the United States has been in force for 230 years since 1789, in which impeachment and recall procedures were established. For more than two hundred years, only four presidents have faced impeachment crisis, with only one in the first 180 years but three in the last 50 years.

This can only show that U.S. politics today is once again playing a party fight. Even if the possibility of Trump being ultimately unseated is extremely low, the impeachment process itself obviously defined the nature of this party struggle.

Diao Daming, Research Fellow at the National Academy of Development and Strategy, and Associate Professor at the School of International Relations, Renmin University of China

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