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President charged

Markets unmoved as Congress votes to impeach Trump

Donald Trump: not worried

Markets in Asia were largely unmoved as the news of Donald Trump’s impeachment filtered out of Washington.

Mr Trump became only the third US president to be impeached – the process by which a legislative body levels charges against a government official.

Congress voted 230 to 197 to charge him with ‘abuse of power’ and 229 to 198 with ‘obstructing Congress’.

It sets up a formal trial in January in the Senate, although the overwhelming view is that the Republican-dominated second chamber will ensure Mr Trump is exonerated.  A two-thirds majority of those present in the 100-member chamber would be needed to convict Mr Trump.

The impeachment vote capped off a three-months investigation into the president’s actions in regard to the Ukraine.

“A great day for the constitution of the United States,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said after the votes concluded. 

Mr Trump said he was not worried and described the action as a “political suicide march for the Democratic Party”. His poll ratings have risen since the investigation began. The president’s approval reached 45% in a Gallup poll conducted between 2 and 15 December, up from 39% in October – just days after Ms Pelosi announced the launch of the impeachment inquiry.

The Wall Street Journal was dismissive of the Democrats’ strategy. In a strongly-worded commentary, it said: “House Democrats voted Wednesday evening to impeach Donald Trump but, media high-fives aside, what have they accomplished? They have failed to persuade the country; they have set a new, low standard for impeaching a President; Mr Trump will be acquitted in the Senate; and Democrats may have helped Mr Trump win re-election. Congratulations to The Resistance.”

The dollar took the impeachment in its stride. “It is unlikely that the Senate will support the motion when it votes in January, as is required to remove Trump from office,” ANZ economists wrote in a note.



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