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The Debate

How nasty will it get? Trump impeachment probe opens in run-up to 2020 campaign

It's like the Watergate scandal. Except that with Watergate, the dirty tricks campaign unravelled after the president had won re-election and in 1974, you did not have the internet. Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted a profanity and accused a key opposition lawmaker of treason. In the week since the Democrats formally launched impeachment proceedings, the US president has responded with rage. But is it calculated rage? The kind that can get a populist leader re-elected?

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We examine the facts and whether they fly in the court of public opinion. Most Republicans have made clear it will take a lot more for them to make Trump the first sitting US president to be ousted while in power. But every day, this story snowballs.

And like during Watergate, there is the alleged crime and the cover-up. Who knew about that phone call to Ukraine's president? In how much trouble are the secretary of state, the attorney general and the vice-president? Will they take the fall?

Produced by Alessandro XENOS, Tommaso MAZZANTI, Juliette LAURAIN and Julia DORNER

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