Making History: The Third Presidential Impeachment

Making history, President Donald Trump has been impeached by the House of Representatives, becoming only the third president to face this degree of public humiliation. Although this event did come as a surprise to many United States citizens who believed the President’s missteps would simply be overlooked, from a governmental standpoint, action needed to be taken. This development has moved very quickly—on September 24, 2019 the formal impeachment inquiry began and just weeks later, public impeachment hearings started on November 13. The primary reason such a dramatic step has been taken is due to Trump’s interference with the impending 2020 election. According to CNN, a phone call was recorded between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as Trump asked him to investigate Joe Biden, a current candidate in the 2020 election (Cohen). Thus, the general public has made the assumption that Trump is using his power in office for selfish reasons, rather than for the good of the country. As justification for the impeachment, United States government officials have cited two violations on behalf of President Trump—abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. According to a USA Today article regarding the impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated, “It’s tragic the president’s reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice” (Jansen, Groppe, King). As a result, Trump will continue to be questioned by government officials and the general public, in an effort to make an informed decision regarding his future in office. 

It is safe to say that Trump’s misdemeanors have captured the attention of a plethora of global figures. While much has been said, there is no defined consensus—some are in favor of Trump and many are criticizing his leadership. As provided by Forbes, a popular business news source, “The party that lost the 2016 election, the Democratic Party, is trying to achieve results by other means,” said President Vladimir Putin of Russia, essentially disparaging the House’s decision to impeach Trump (Togoh). As Putin is a strong ally of Trump’s due to their assistance in each other’s military and political endeavors, this comment does not come as a surprise to the American public. However, in opposition to his remarks, a German newspaper Die Welt stated that Trump is “exactly the type of president the American founding fathers always warned about,” meaning that Trump’s errors in office have inevitably led to scrutiny against him by the United States government, as well as by governments around the world (Togoh). As the impeachment has served as an immense change in the United States administration, it is safe to say that the world has been and will continue to be flooded by the differing opinions of global officials. 

In recent weeks, the United States Senate has been preparing for the official impeachment trial for President Trump, nearly a month after he was indicted for a variety of crimes and misdemeanors by the House of Representatives. In preparation for this event, House speaker Nancy Pelosi has discussed her beliefs about the trial. According to The Hill, Pelosi stated, “We’ve done our job. We have defended the Constitution of the United States. We would hope the Senate would do that as well” (Simendinger). Pelosi believes that the two Constitution articles cited–abuse of power and obstruction of Congress–are justified due to Trump’s inappropriate relations with the Ukrainian President in order to receive intel about 2020 presidential candidates, as well as his apparent scheming with Russian hackers during the 2016 presidential election in an effort to skew the results. All the while, President Trump has been very active about his opposition to the House’s decision to impeach him, utilizing social media to reach out to his supporters. In response to Pelosi’s words, Trump has tweeted that he resents having the “stigma of impeachment attached to my name” (Simendinger). However, no matter how much he disagrees, the trial is not stopping for anyone. The most recent information shows that it will proceed immediately after the articles of impeachment are transmitted to Senate. 

When the impeachment trial begins, there is no doubt that Democrats and Republicans will brawl over whether Trump has truly crossed a line worthy of being taken out of office. So far, Democrats have a substantial case due to the crimes he has committed while President. Many news platforms such as CNN have proposed that in order to prove Trump’s suspicious relations with Ukraine, a major reason for his impeachment, Democrats will show “a text message sent by Kurt Volker, who was Trump’s handpicked envoy for Ukraine” (Cohen). Essentially, they will most likely argue that Trump has put his personal interests ahead of the interests of the United States. On the other hand, Republicans will make the case that the quick-moving public impeachment hearings have “deprived Trump of his due process rights” (Cohen), meaning the right to a fair application of the law before one can be imprisoned, persecuted, or in this case, impeached. Both the Democrat and Republican arguments aside, it is unlikely that Trump will be impeached due to the fact that the Senate is largely comprised of Republicans, who mainly support the Trump administration. Despite this assumption, there is no telling where the trial will go, and the American public will be anxiously anticipating the results.