Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. He can be reached on [email protected]
U.S. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will host President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine at the White House on August 30, 2021.
Zelenskyy was pressured by former President Donald Trump to find dirt on candidate Joe Biden before the November 2020 presidential election. The attempt to use a foreign power to influence an American election led to Trump’s first impeachment by the House of Representatives on December 18, 2019.
The Senate later acquitted him on February 5, 2020. The House had adopted two articles of impeachment against Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
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Trump’s first impeachment came after a formal House inquiry alleged that he had solicited foreign interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election to help his re-election bid, and then obstructed the inquiry itself by telling his administration officials to ignore subpoenas for documents and testimony. The inquiry reported that Trump withheld military aid and an invitation to the White House to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in order to influence Ukraine to announce an investigation into Trump’s political opponent Joe Biden and to promote a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, was behind interference in the 2016 presidential election.
A phone call between Trump and Zelensky on July 25, 2019, which was witnessed by whistleblower Alexander Vindman who later informed Congress, was used as proof that Trump was pressuring Zelensky to find dirt on Biden before the November presidential election.
Biden later defeated him, and was inaugurated on January 20, 2021, even though Trump refused to concede.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Zelenskyy’s visit “will affirm the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea, our close cooperation on energy security, and our backing for President Zelenskyy’s efforts to tackle corruption and implement a reform agenda based on our shared democratic values.”