Trump Becomes 1st US President To Be Impeached Twice

Trump Becomes 1st US President To Be Impeached Twice

With Donald Trump achieving the milestone of becoming the first President to be impeached twice, let us look at what impeachment is, what led to the one of Trump, as well as its former cases.

Crux of the Matter

“Milestone” Achieved
On 13 January 2021, Donald Trump became the 1st US president to be impeached twice and only the 3rd US President to be impeached.

The House of Representatives formally charged him with “incitement of insurrection” after his supporters sieged the Capitol and committed violence.

What Is Impeachment?

  • Impeachment is the formal charging of President with certain crimes.
  • Impeachment is a part of the process of officially removing the President for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”.
  • Impeachment is done by the House (lower house).

Impeachment is succeeded by the Senate (upper House) trial, where 2/3rd majority is required to convict and remove the President. However, no President in history has been removed by the Senate.

Impeachment After Trump Leaves?
As per experts, late impeachment (after Trump leaves the office) is also possible.

  • Notably, impeachment may also be used to “disqualify” from office in future.
  • Meaning: Trump’s impeachment may prohibit him from contesting in the 2024 Presidential election as well as deny ex-President benefits.

Previous Instances Of Impeachment

Donald Trump (2019)

  • Impeached on charges of “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress”.
  • Trump reportedly pressurized the Ukrainian President to “investigate” Joe Biden and his son Hunter to aid him in 2020 elections.

Bill Clinton (1998)

  • Impeached on charges of “lying under oath to a federal grand jury” and “obstruction of justice”.
  • Clinton lied about having “sexual relationship” with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
  • Impeachment not for the extramarital affair, but for perjury (lying about the issue under oath) and using power to hide the matter.

Andrew Johnson (1868)

  • Impeached on charges of “violating the Tenure of Office Act”.
  • Done so by removing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton from office.

  • Dilma Vana Rousseff is a Brazilian economist and politician who served as the 36th president of Brazil. She was the first woman to hold the Brazilian presidency. On 31 August 2016, the Senate voted 61–20 to impeach, finding Rousseff guilty of breaking budgetary laws and removed her from office.
  • The charge of high crimes and misdemeanours covers allegations of misconduct by officials. The impeachment of the King’s Chancellor, Michael de la Pole, 1st Earl of Suffolk in 1386 was the first case to use this charge.
  • Other than impeachment, no other penalty can be given to a president in position for the violation of the Constitution under Article 361 of the Indian constitution. No Indian President has faced impeachment proceedings. Hence, the provisions for impeachment have never been tested.

Why Brazil President Bolsonaro Endorsed Trump?

Why Brazil President Bolsonaro Endorsed Trump?

As Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro endorsed Trump before the US elections, let us look at the similarities between the two and the unusual policies of the former.

Crux of the Matter

Bolsonaro Endorsing Trump
On 20 October 2020, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro endorsed Donald Trump for the 2020 US Elections. Bolsonaro said “God willing I will be able to attend” for Trump’s inauguration. His comments came after Brazil and the US signed a trade agreement for 5G and telecommunications.

Bolsonaro joined Hungary PM Viktor Orban and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in openly endorsing Trump’s re-election. However, their bid failed as Joe Biden is now the President-elect.

Bolsonaro was elected as the Brazilian President in 2018. He has served in the army as captain. Bolsonaro, a self-declared Trump admirer, has been nicknamed “Trump of the Tropics”. Trump and Bolsonaro are similar in their populist outlook, handling of Covid-19 pandemic and several key issues.

Handling Of Covid-19

  • Both Bolsonaro and Trump recovered from Covid-19 after downplaying its severity for months.
  • Both rejected Covid-19 threat by comparing it to “flu”.
  • The former reportedly claimed that Covid-19 masks are “for fairies”.

Some are going to die, they will die. Sorry, it’s life. You can’t stop a car factory just because you have traffic deaths.

Bolsonaro, speaking against lockdowns

Brazil has been severely affected by Covid pandemic. As of 11 November, Brazil had

  • 5.68 million cases.
  • 163k deaths.
  • Death rate: 763 per million people – 6th highest in the world.

Homophobia And Anti-Science Stance

  • Bolsonaro openly claimed “I’m homophobic – and very proud of it” in 2013.
  • He has also cut down on research funds and has been aggressive towards scientists and doctors.
  • He has sacked 2 Health Ministers in pandemic for alleged promotion of social distancing. In a similar manner, Trump called Dr. Fauci (Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) an “idiot” for his cautious Covid pandemic strategy.

Police And Admiration For Dictators

  • Bolsonaro is a staunch advocate of ‘stricter’ police. In 2017, he claimed that “a policeman who doesn’t kill isn’t a policeman”.
  • He has repeatedly praised the dictator regime of Brazil (between 1964 and 1985). He has claimed that Augusto Pinochet (former dictator of Chile) “should have killed more people”.

If one wants to close the supreme court, you know what you do? You don’t even need to send a jeep. Send two soldiers.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of Jair Bolsonaro

Dealing With Amazon Forest Fires

  • In 2019, 89,178 fires were reported in the Amazon rainforest as per INPE. The numbers showed an increase from 68,345 fires in 2018.
  • Increase in deforestation and “clearing of land” by farmers have been cited as the main reasons for such increase.
  • Bolsonaro instead blamed “NGOs” for “setting up” fire, and rejected $20 million aid from the G7 summit in August 2019. He cited the “colonialist mindset” of the G7 as the reason for rejection.

Battle With Biden
In the US Presidential debate, Joe Biden expressed concern over Amazon forest fires.

The rainforests of Brazil are being torn down. I would be gathering up and making sure we had the countries of the world coming up with $20 billion, and say, ‘Here’s $20 billion. Stop tearing down the forest. And if you don’t then you’re gonna have significant economic consequences

Joe Biden

In reply, Bolsonaro labelled Biden’s statement “disastrous and unnecessary declaration”. He also accused Biden of being “greedy” towards the Amazon forest.

  • The #EleNão (“not him”) movements of 2018 were demonstrations led by women which took place in several regions of Brazil. The main goal was to protest against Bolsonaro and his presidential campaign because of his sexist declarations.
  • The 1964 Brazilian coup d’état was a series of events in Brazil from March 31 to April 1 that led to the overthrow of President João Goulart by members of the Brazilian Armed Forces, supported by the United States government. The following day, with the military already in control of the country, the Brazilian Congress came out in support of the coup and endorsed it by declaring the office of the presidency vacant.
  • In an interview with Zero Hora in 2015, Bolsonaro argued that men and women should not receive the same salaries, because women get pregnant, adding that he believes federal law mandating paid maternity leave harms work productivity.

Mystery Behind Covid-19 Free Trump

Mystery Behind Covid-19 Free Trump

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump was diagnosed with Covid-19. However, within 9 days, he became virus-free. What made a 74-year-old man, recover so fast when the pandemic has already taken 119K+ lives globally?

Crux of the Matter

Antibody Cocktail By Regeneron
After returning to the White House, Trump posted a video on Twitter, stating that it was a “blessing from God” that he had been infected with Covid-19 and that drug maker, Regeneron’s antibody treatment containing 2 monoclonal antibodies, had made him feel “better than he felt 23 years ago”.

What Is An Antibody?
They are the “search-and-destroy” force of the immune system. These Y-shaped proteins bind like a lock-and-key to the body’s foreign invaders like viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites. They can be gathered from the blood of recovered patients, or manufactured synthetically in a lab.

What About Monoclonal Antibody?
Also called ‘biologic’ or mAb/moAb, it is an antibody made by cloning a single, unique white blood cell. When it comes to Covid-19, it prevents the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, from attaching to the body’s cells to infect them. They are used to treat serious diseases ranging from cancer, eczema, and arthritis.

Best Antibody GIFs | Gfycat

Monoclonal v/s Plasma Treatment
Convalescent plasma is a mixture of different antibodies, that target multiple sites on the virus. Monoclonal antibodies have a high concentration of a single, specific antibody, which makes them more potent than the former. Though both provide help to achieve passive immunity.

Now What Is Passive Immunity?
It is a shortcut to creating an immune defense i.e a person acquiring antibodies from an external source, for a disease, rather than producing them through his or her own immune system (active immunity). Eg: An infant receives a mother’s antibodies through the placenta or breast milk.

What Do Experts Have To Say?
Dr. Peter Chin, a disease specialist at U.C.S.F. Health in San Francisco, said that Mr. Trump is experiencing the effects of the ‘steroid dexamethasone’, which is known to reduce fever and can create feelings of well-being and euphoria in patients.

Will It Be Effective On A Larger Scale?
Like any other drug, Regeneron cocktail must be proved in large clinical trials that compare the outcomes of people, who received the dose with those who received simply a placebo. Those trials are yet to complete.

FDA and Regeneron
Regeneron has now asked the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for emergency authorization to make the drug available, as a part of Trump administration’s “Operation Warp Speed,” that promises to come up with viable treatments for COVID-19, in order to help distribute it immediately on availability.

On getting the approval, the drug company would initially start with doses for 50,000 people and hopes to distribute to 300,000 people by the end of the year, which is expected to be provided to Americans for free. The FDA has recently approved the first treatment—Inmazeb from Regeneron—to treat Zaire ebolavirus.

  • A placebo is a treatment, in which patients perceive their condition and encourage the body’s chemical processes for relieving pain and a few other symptoms, but have no impact on the disease itself.  The use of placebos in clinical medicine raises ethical concerns, especially if they are disguised as an active treatment, as this introduces dishonesty into the doctor–patient relationship and bypasses informed consent. 
  • The Curse of Tippecanoe is the supposed pattern of deaths in office of presidents of the United States elected in years that are evenly divisible by 20, from 1840 to 1960. The presidents fitting this description were William Henry Harrison, Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. 
  • Trump Tower is a 58-floor, 202m tall mixed-use skyscraper at Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Trump Tower serves as the headquarters for the Trump Organization.

Unusual Nominees of Nobel Peace Prize 2020

Unusual Nominees of Nobel Peace Prize 2020

As Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2020, let us look at the 2 ‘peace advocates’ and their corresponding actions. Let us also have a look at the recent nominations of UN Human Rights Council.

Crux of the Matter

Nobel Peace
World Food Programme won the Nobel Peace Prize 2020. However, several unusual nominees were present for the Prize including Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
US President Trump was nominated for “contribution for peace between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)”. Israel and UAE established official relations on 13 August, 2020, where Trump acted as a mediator.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was nominated reportedly for “participation in resolving the Syrian conflict and trying to stop the US military invasion of Syria”.

Trump-Putin Peace Advocates
Both nominations have drawn strong disapproval from critics for several reasons.

In May 2020, protests started after a black man George Floyd was killed by white cop Derek Chauvin, who bent his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes 40 seconds. Instead of reassuring people, Trump threatened to deploy military against the protesters and said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”. In the recent Presidential debate against Joe Biden, Trump refused to condemn the White Supremacist groups accused of inciting violence in protests.

Alexei Navalny, a long time critic of President Vladimir Putin, was recently poisoned in Russia. He was evacuated to Germany, where doctors and experts from Germany, France, etc confirmed that he was poisoned. Similarly, Boris Nemtsov, Sergei Magnitsky, and several other critics of Putin have been killed in recent years, with methods like shooting, poisoning using radioactive substances, police custody assault, etc being used.

UN Human Rights Council
Russia, China, Pakistan, Cuba, Uzbekistan, and Nepal were recently elected to the UN Human Rights Council (UHRC) Board, where Saudi Arabia was also among the nominees. The mentioned nations have been elected for a 3-year term starting from January 2021.

An NGO named UN Watch compared the situation to “making a gang of arsonists into the fire brigade”.

Read more about the Human Rights issues in these countries here: Mockery Of Human Rights By UNHRC Members

  • The World Food Programme is the food-assistance branch of the UN and the world’s largest humanitarian organization focused on hunger and food security. The World Food Programme launched its first programmes in 1963 through the Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN General Assembly on a three-year experimental basis, supporting the Nubian population.
  • Leopold II was the second King of the Belgians and the owner & absolute ruler of the Congo Free State from 1865 to 1909. Leopold’s administration of the Congo was characterised by atrocities, including torture and murder, resulting from notorious systematic brutality. Modern estimates range from 1 million to 15 million deaths.
  • Genocide is the intentional action to destroy a people—usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious group—in whole or in part. A term coined by Raphael Lemkin in his 1944 book “Axis Rule in Occupied Europe”.

Nobel Prize: What Is It & Trump Nomination

Nobel Prize: What Is It & Trump Nomination

With US President Trump being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, let us have a look at some factors behind his nomination. Let us also understand what the Nobel Prize is and how it functions .

Crux of the Matter

Trump For Nobel Peace?
US President Donald Trump was recently nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for his “contribution for peace between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)”. He was nominated by Christian Tybring-Gjedde, a Norwegian parliamentarian, who had earlier nominated Trump for the prize in 2019. The previous nomination from Tybring-Gjedde came due to Trump’s work regarding “peace and reconciliation between North and South Korea”.

On 13 August, 2020, Israel and the UAE agreed to establish official relationships with each other, in which Trump acted as a mediator in the deal. Previously, the UAE did not recognize Israel and backed Palestine in its conflict with Israel.

Nobel Prize – What Is It?
Nobel Prize was founded by Alfred Nobel – a scientist who also had interest in business, literature, and several other fields. In 1895, Nobel directed in his will to utilize his wealth for “prizes in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace”.

Every year, Academicians, scientists, previous Nobel Laureates, politicians, etc nominate candidates for the Prizes. These Nobel Prizes are managed by the following institutes:

  • The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for Physics and Chemistry.
  • Karolinska Institutet for Physiology/Medicine.
  • Committee of five persons elected by the Norwegian Parliament for the Peace Prize.
  • The Swedish Academy for Literature.

In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank established a Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. In the following year, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was given the task to select Economic Sciences Laureate.

Also Read: Nobel Prize: Controversies

  • In a submission not intended to be taken seriously, an antifascist member of the Swedish parliament nominated Adolf Hitler for the Nobel Peace Prize 1939. But the nomination was cancelled and no prize was awarded in that year to anyone for peace. 
  • Geir Lundestad, Secretary of Norwegian Nobel Committee in 2006 said, “The greatest omission in our 106-year history is undoubtedly that Mahatma Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace prize. Gandhi could do without the Nobel Peace prize, [but] whether the Nobel committee can do without Gandhi is the question”. In 1948 (the year of Gandhi’s death) the Nobel Committee made no award, stating “there was no suitable living candidate”. 
  • Rabindranath Tagore became in 1913 the first non-European as well as the first lyricist to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. He reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.