A rush by American lawmakers to focus on elections next November and extreme partisanship in politics is bound to affect the impartiality of President Donald Trump’s misconduct trial. Opposition Democrats rushed the drafting of the articles of impeachment and quickly won a vote in the House of Representatives , which the party controls. But there is little chance that the president will be removed from office as his Republicans hold a majority in the Senate, which takes up the case next month. If that happens, divisions will deepen even further and the core values of the world’s most powerful and influential nation will be undermined. For foreign governments, such an outcome would further erode trust in Washington. But such matters do not appear to be on the minds of leading Republicans, who have rejected the accusations against Trump as an attempted coup. There are two counts, both of a serious nature: abuse of office and obstruction of congress. Already, though, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has said he will side with the president, making clear he has no intention of even considering the evidence. If Republican senators choose such a path, a vital political check and balance will have been weakened. Conviction requires a two-thirds majority of senators, with Republicans holding 53 seats to 45 for Democrats with two independents. The evidence against Trump is compelling and fits easily within constitutional provisions limiting the powers of the president to protect the American people and the nation. Only twice before have lawmakers felt the need to use such measures, in both cases deciding wrongdoing was not sufficient to require dismissal. Trump impeachment clouds prospects for US-China trade war talks At the heart of the case against Trump is the claim that he used the presidency for personal political gain. With his focus on re-election, he is said to have committed an impeachable offence by withholding US$391 million in military aid from Ukraine until its government investigated the activities of a potential rival for the presidency. The funding was eventually handed over, but there has since been an attempted cover-up and refusal to cooperate with the investigation. Trump has repeatedly ignored protocol, rules and policies since taking office almost four years ago. He has rejected calls to hand over tax returns and divest business interests, leading to potential conflicts in official dealings with countries where he and his family have investments. Refusal by Republican senators to impartially carry out their duties will be damaging for the US political system and its much-vaunted democracy. Voters may yet have to be the judge. But the impeachment case has given insight into how Trump approaches foreign policy. Governments grappling with his unpredictability and negotiating inconsistencies have been given less reason to trust him.