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The Debate

Facts and alternative facts: Republicans denounce Trump impeachment hearings

THE DEBATE
THE DEBATE FRANCE 24

While the president of the United States attends a summit that's got everyone pondering the future of the NATO alliance, back in Washington, the next phase of the impeachment inquiry has some wondering about the future of Western democracy.

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The House of Representatives judiciary committee is convening to draw up articles of impeachment based on testimony and evidence that the US president pressured his newly-elected Ukrainian counterpart to dig up dirt on Donald Trump's potential re-election rival Joe Biden. Does the evidence matter? Do citizens ultimately care enough? Donald Trump's favourability ratings are negative but much better than Richard Nixon's during Watergate. Why?

We ask about the latest evidence, including released phone records that link Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House intelligence committee to a Ukrainian-born middleman who is now under arrest. Do those conversations matter? 

If, ultimately, Donald Trump is cleared and wins a second term, it will be thanks to a strategy that no longer consists in finding the middle ground and appealing to the majority but energising a loyal following to turn out in greater numbers on the day. In the age of social media and the micro-targeting of voters, what lessons will politicians draw on this side of the Atlantic? 

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Jimena Morales-Velasco.

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