By: Luis Ernesto Salomón
When the leader of the Democratic opposition in the United States Congress decided to take action to open an investigation that could lead to political trial and, where appropriate, to the removal of the president, she crossed a red line from which there is no return.
For the first time, Trump has lost the driving of the narrative.
Given the surprise of the panorama, it is worth reviewing the legal process that is just beginning and analyzing its impact on Mexico. The investigations that are ongoing must produce requirements for documents, appointments for officials to appear before committees of the House of Representatives and work is being done to integrate data that will allow a proposal to be voted on to accuse the president of having violated the law and legally justify an impeachment proposal.
These inquiries are ongoing and it is estimated that they should last at least three or four weeks, at least, a period in which important events can occur such as resignations or complaints by officials involved in contacts with Ukraine.
Special mention, in this case, deserve the officials of the State Department, the Department of Justice and the role of Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. In case of integrating the file by the committees authorized in the lower house, the proposal that would be submitted to the Senate that stands in the case’s court would be put to the vote.
Democrats count the votes to approve the proposal, but not enough in the Senate; they need to convince 20 Republicans, which now seems difficult, for the impeachment to proceed.
The first movements suggest that the Democrats want to hurry to integrate the case in October and vote in November on the House of Representatives proposal and think about the trial by December or January. This scenario represents a real challenge for Mexican diplomacy because there are a lot of issues on the negotiating table before the president and the Capitol.
The most notorious is the USMCA, which enters into a stage of uncertainty since although a sort of first agreement had already been reached for legislative approval in Washington, it can now be a piece of the negotiation. The biggest danger is that Trump feels cornered and threatens to denounce the current treaty as a pressure measure for Democrats to approve his proposal and for representatives to decide to postpone the issue until after the elections.
This would cause financial turbulence in Mexico that can damage the real economy. This possibility hangs over the following weeks, say, as long as the research is integrated, and is subject to the course of events. In that same period, immigration issues can be used by the president to agitate his electoral bases to defend him. Let us not forget that in addition to the legal arguments of the case, for the US politicians, the behavior of public opinion that is now deeply divided with regard to believing that Trump should be dismissed, with a majority of just 51% according to some studies, is of vital importance. , but that may change in the following days.
The use of high-impact issues to distract public attention is a weapon that can be used by Trump, and there would be issues of impact for Mexico as a military escalation against Iran because of its impact on oil prices, the intensification of the commercial war with China or border security issues.
Although now it seems unlikely that the dismissal will proceed, the path is unpredictable and involves risks in the bilateral relationship, which require, once again, greater activism and presence in Washington to strengthen our positions.
Until now the diplomatic work has been intense, intelligent and prudent, but extreme care is required and much more assertive.
Therefore, beyond responding to Trump’s outbursts regarding the use of Mexico to contain migration, the issue is to promote the approval of the USMCA and consolidate security cooperation mechanisms. It seems that the time of the greatest possible institutionality has arrived, given the uncertainty of the panorama.
Pelosi has crossed the river and things will never be the same as before: neither for her, nor for American politics, nor for the relationship established between the Trump administration and Mexico.
The Mazatlan Post