Into the Impeachment Proceedings We Go

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Into the Impeachment Proceedings We Go

Impeachment has always been a looming possibility for Trump. It has hung over his head, swinging wildly, like a piñata at a child’s birthday party, and Trump is the one whacking it with a stick of his own blatant disrespect for the Constitution he was elected to uphold. 

Impeachment has always been a looming possibility for Trump. It has hung over his head, swinging wildly, like a piñata at a child’s birthday party, and Trump is the one whacking it with a stick of his own blatant disrespect for the Constitution he was elected to uphold. 

pen ink drawing by Julia Poppa

Impeachment has always been a looming possibility for Trump. It has hung over his head, swinging wildly, like a piñata at a child’s birthday party, and Trump is the one whacking it with a stick of his own blatant disrespect for the Constitution he was elected to uphold. 

pen ink drawing by Julia Poppa

pen ink drawing by Julia Poppa

Impeachment has always been a looming possibility for Trump. It has hung over his head, swinging wildly, like a piñata at a child’s birthday party, and Trump is the one whacking it with a stick of his own blatant disrespect for the Constitution he was elected to uphold. 

Julia Poppa, Staff Writer

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Donald Trump may finally have access to an exclusive club that you can’t buy your way into with money or status: the impeachment club. Currently consisting of only two presidents, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, will 45 finally join 42 and 17 to make three?

On September 24th, an official impeachment inquiry was launched against President Trump. When Trump was elected I remember thinking, “There’s no way he lasts more than two years.” Now three years later, the bets I’ve placed (and lost) may finally have an end in sight. 

Impeachment has always been a looming possibility for Trump. It has hung over his head, swinging wildly, like a piñata at a child’s birthday party, and Trump is the one whacking it with a stick of his own blatant disrespect for the Constitution he was elected to uphold. 

Now, there is little our president can do to evade the possible termination of his presidency. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has officially launched an investigation into President Trump. She and several others of the Democratic Party are determined to prove that not only is Trump unfit for office, but that he has disregarded the law as a byproduct of his power. 

The investigation is being launched after the events surrounding, and including, a phone call between President Trump and the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. Prior to the phone call, Trump was accused of withholding aid from the Ukraine, and putting pressure on them to comply in order to receive said aid from the United States once again. 

The call took place on July 25th this year, when Trump began an unauthorized, foreign-led investigation into fellow presidential candidate and former Vice-President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. 

According to the official memorandum released by the Justice Department, Trump said to Zelensky, “The other thing. There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped a prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

We as a people need to hold our presidents accountable for their actions and elect officials who won’t actively polarize us as a nation, who have respect for the foundations and ideals this country was founded on. ”

Zelensky responded by saying he would have a new prosecutor instated by this month and would make sure that they prioritized the investigation.

While one could potentially argue that Trump’s intentions are to inform the general public, providing “truth” about the life and family of one of the presidential candidates, it is most unlikely. With Trump planning to run for a second term, his motives seem as skewed and selfish as they did when he colluded with the Russians in 2016.

However, the idea that our president could face impeachment isn’t a new one. Trump has repeatedly abused his power and destroyed the American image. His ideals and morals go against every modern interpretation of the Constitution to date. His policies are regressive and destructive, his temper goes unchecked, and his twitter account has almost launched us into nuclear war. 

Trump’s latest antics are certainly fair enough grounds to launch an investigation, but my question is why was it not launched much, much sooner. A comprehensive list of all of Trump’s impeachable offenses would put me far over a publishable word count, but to name a few: his public disparagement of the country’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies, his continuous personal profiteering, and attempting to pardon those who have been criminally charged for expediting his construction of the border wall. To think that this one phone call would be the only impeachable act, one would have to be ignorant, childish, or possibly just seriously misinformed, but my one promise is that impeachment proceedings will certainly include more than just this one egregious act. 

While I’ve always known, and hoped, that impeachment was a possibility for President Trump, it wasn’t until recently that I actually took the time to understand the process and likelihood of, in my opinion, a favorable outcome. 

Let’s break everything down. First of all, impeachment does not necessarily mean that Trump would be removed from office. In the two instances of impeachment in our country, both presidents were decidedly impeached and then later acquitted and remained in office.

Say the impeachment process were to be a success, what would it entail? As I’ve mentioned before, there must be an investigation into any and all impeachable offenses by the president. Also mentioned before, there are frankly a lot. A thorough investigation into every punishable act of the president to date could take far longer to complete than the remainder of his term. But for argument and education’s sake, let’s just say the investigation focuses on some of Trump’s worst offenses. 

In both instances where a president was impeached, the Senate chose to keep them in office despite the facts presented to them.”

If the investigation provides sufficient enough evidence to move forward, the case is then presented to the House of Representatives, which is currently held by the Democrats. According to Time Magazine, 221 of the 435 members of the house have officially stated that in the given situation, they would vote to impeach Trump. However, this number is more to gauge the effects voting to impeach could have on the Democratic members of the House. 

If the majority votes against the president, then Trump will have officially been impeached. However, it gets relatively tricky after this. While President Trump will technically be impeached, the articles of impeachment must then be presented to the Senate where they will hold a trial. After the trial, the Senate holds a vote as to whether or not the President should be removed from office. Two-thirds of the Senate would need to vote in favor of removal for Trump to be out of office, which in physical numbers is 67 out of the 100 senators. The Senate is currently held by the Republican party, so despite the evidence (which at this point would have been proven sufficient), the Senate can elect to have Trump remain in the Oval Office. 

I would love to believe that this could be the end of Trump’s term, and that we may finally begin to undo the damage that has been done over the past three years, but the future still looks bleak. 

I’m sure everyone has heard the saying, “History repeats itself.” I feel that this case is no different. In both instances where a president was impeached, the Senate chose to keep them in office despite the facts presented to them. The only other result of impeachment so far is resignation. When Nixon faced impeachment, he chose to resign, rather than face the storm head on. I genuinely do believe that either option is plausible, but regardless of what happens, it is difficult to say if any measurable change will be made by the time reelection rolls around.

We as a people need to hold our presidents accountable for their actions and elect officials who won’t actively polarize us as a nation, who have respect for the foundations and ideals this country was founded on. 

Our president may be childish, he may be cowardly and hot headed, but one thing our president is not is above the law.