Trump Impeachment

Liya Tsegaye, Staff Writer

Trump has been president of the United Stars since 2016. His election was a complete shock and surprise to many Americans, as many people suspected he wouldn’t win. He went up against Hillary Clinton, who was a shoo-in, as most people thought. Her husband previously being a former president sealed the deal for most people. She won in a sense of the popular vote and percentage of voters, but he beat her in the electoral college and states carried. Ever since he was elected people have protested for his impeachment due to his racist remarks towards Africans, Hispanics and immigrants. 


Let’s start with what impeachment means. There are many misconceptions with the word so to clear things up, according to NBC News, “The term “impeachment” is commonly used to mean removing someone from office, but it actually refers only to the filing of formal charges. If the House impeaches, the Senate then holds a trial on those charges to decide whether the officer should be removed and barred from holding federal office in the future”. This means that when someone is impeached, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is kicked out of office, but when they are impeached, they must then face the possibility of conviction on the charges by a legislative vote, which is separate from the impeachment itself.


Although he has been accused of multiple impeachable acts, this was the one that caused the Democrats to start an impeachment campaign. He was accused by Robert Muller who held a two-year-long investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russian interference and the president’s efforts to obstruct that investigation, and the dramatic unveiling of the final report by special counsel Robert Mueller, and Mueller’s own testimony before Congress, and a bunch of other potential offense until July 25, 2019. On this day he made a phone call to the president of Ukraine and blatantly stated and pressured the president to launch investigations against his presidential opponent Joe Biden. The president may have even paused funds by Congress to support Ukraine’s military to increase that pressure. 


The three reasons under the United States Constitution to impeach the president is treason, bribery, and high crimes and misdemeanors. This impeachment case falls under the third category, high crimes, and misdemeanors. A lot of scholars believe that to be impeached, an offense does not need to break the law. There only needs to be the political will and there need to be enough votes in the House to impeach, and then in the Senate to remove the president from office. The Ukraine call is outstanding in the sense of the clarity of both the evidence and the offense in the few minute phone call between the presidents. Examples include that investigators have records of the phone call, Trump’s own admission, and the admission of his private attorney, Rudy Giuliani.


Democrats are equally united on the belief that Trump using his office to persuade a foreign government to help him attack a rival is an impeachable abuse of power and office. Whether or not Trump broke those laws will depend on how lawmakers interpret “value.” If they don’t think a law was broken, Trump could still be impeached. But only if lawmakers think the offense rises to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors”.


In my opinion, Trump has committed multiple impeachable acts in his 4 years in office but this one stands out the clearest  and undebatable. This one was a phone call that showed clear signs of overuse of power and influence to help benefit his chances at winning the next presidential election. As stated previously in the article, an impeachable act doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be against the law so this impeachment inquiry could have a chance. I feel like the Democrats have done the right thing by waiting till they have a solid case, which is what this is. This is all up to the air at this point because of the major dependency on the interpretation of the case by lawmakers. Some believe that Trump was clearly abusing power and leveraging military aid, which is not only his money but taxpayers’  money, to help him. On the other hand, others believe that this is a reach and all the evidence against him is overwhelming and not worthy of impeachment.


This all boils down to the interpretation of the incident by the court. But something that will have more of a dependant influence on it is that it’s going to come down to who holds the majority, Republicans or Democrats. With the 2020 presidential election coming up, this decision needs to speed up if they want any substantial damage to be done to the president’s  image before elections or possibly have him barred from participating in the elections as a whole.