Trump's impeachment: cui bono?

Europe's press is ambivalent about the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump recently passed by the US House of Representatives. The US president has said he wants to face the impeachment trial, which will decide whether he is removed from office on charges of abuse of power and obstructing justice, as soon as possible.

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Jyllands-Posten (DK) /

This could trigger unrest all over the world

The timing of the trial against Trump is terrible, Jyllands-Posten believes:

“An impeachment against President Trump is about the last thing the US needs right now. The profound rifts in society will only deepen. Impeachment will harm the nation, especially in an election year - although obviously that doesn't mean that it's not entirely legally justified. ... In the coming weeks the impeachment will keep the entire international community in suspense. It's not just an American affair. Trump may feel pressured to take action in foreign policy because he feels under pressure domestically. That doesn't make the whole thing any better.”

Turun Sanomat (FI) /

Proceedings keep Trump out of mischief

Turun Sanomat hopes the reverse will be the case:

“Those who defend US judicial praxis believe that the impreachment trial will at least tarnish Trump's image. In future he'll be associated with the impeachment proceedings. But Trump doesn't really care about his image as long as he's elected for another term. In fact the indictment could even help him get re-elected. However, there is a good side, because the whole thing is taking up Trump's time. And that could prevent him from taking decisions which the international community views as harmful.”

Ria Novosti (RU) /

Debate completely dehumanised

The bitter conflict has enduringly blocked the path to political compromise in the US, Ria Novosti believes:

“Apart from temporary exceptions, the voters of both parties have so far been able to assume that despite all differences, the Democrats and Republicans will fight out their political conflicts according to the rules of fairness that were formulated by the founding fathers. ... This system has now been destroyed because supporters on both sides dream of the physical liquidation of their opponents, whom they no longer see as 'friends or fellow citizens' but as 'monsters'. These are signs of a total dehumanisation that can't end well.”

Die Presse (AT) /

Impeachment unites conservatives behind Trump

The impeachment proceedings will help Trump to be re-elected, Die Presse predicts:

“It's striking that not a single one of the almost 200 Republican members of the House of Representatives wavered - as is the fact that two Democrats found him not guilty of abuse of power and three acquitted him of obstructing justice. ... In fact many Americans are only slightly interested in whether Trump asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. For many voters what's more important is the robust economy and Trump's supposed struggle against the Washington establishment. ... Perhaps some Republicans would have thought twice if the Democrats hadn't single-handedly insisted on pressing ahead with questionable impeachment proceedings. Now, however, after his acquittal in the Senate, it will be extremely difficult for the Democrats to defeat Trump in the November elections.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

A tiresome compulsory procedure for the Democrats

The impeachment proceedings are only harming the opposition around Nancy Pelosi, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung criticises:

“Never before has a president been subject to impeachment proceedings with the support of just a single party. There can be no talk of the broad consensus that Pelosi herself cited as a prerequisite last spring. Although that doesn't strip the proceedings of their legitimacy, it does make them vulnerable to attack. That fact is not lost on the Democrats, who went through the various steps as if this were just a tiresome compulsory procedure. One gets the feeling that they want to put the impeachment behind them as quickly as they can, as if it were a spectacle carried out for their own rank and file that they hope won't cast too much of a shadow on the election year. Tactically, that may be the best of several bad options. But it doesn't do justice to the instrument of impeachment.”

La Vanguardia (ES) /

An uncertain outcome

La Vanguardia takes a more positive view of the launch of impeachment proceedings:

“The current situation also shows us that the system functions in the US. Trump's plans to do as he likes as president is encountering legal limits. ... But it's difficult to predict what the outcome of the proceedings will be. The Senate majority makes his removal from office unlikely. There are even those who believe this could strengthen Trump's position in the 2020 election campaign. But we should bear in mind that further scandals involving the president could come to light over the next few months - in view of the president's actions to date this is not at all unlikely. And new evidence could persuade the Republicans to distance themselves.”