Editorial: Trump’s Impeachment Inquiry: Adding Fire to the Political Arena?

Trump0927_Francesca-McKernon

A whistleblower has called Trump's call to the Ukraine president into question, as well as impeachment. Credit: Francesca McKernon

Donald Trump’s presidency is arguably one of the most unconventional presidencies in American history. Of course, one cannot ignore Trump’s access to Twitter, a public personal diary and emotional outlet for people’s insecurities. Imagine if this platform was around during the 20th century — who knows what anecdotal gems could’ve been saved prior to 2006?

Trump has certainly been the target of many accusations and aggressions — not all underserved. While the perpetrator slews comments stating that he has grabbed women by their genitals, it’s hard not to villainize him. Most presidents have a certain charisma or amiability that makes them appeal to the public, which is usually apparent in the popular vote during an election.

However, from the very beginning, it is worth noting that Donald Trump did not win the popular vote. According to the Associated Press, Clinton received 65,844,610 votes across all 50 states, accounting for 48.2 percent of all votes cast, while Trump received 62,979,636 votes, 46.1 percent of all votes cast.

While this may seem like a statistical analysis, it is important to note that Clinton won by 2.8 million votes. This was not a measly 100,000 votes. 

The election of 2016 seems to have divided and pitted Republicans and Democrats against each other. Donald Trump’s presidency is no exception. Trump recently tweeted on Sept. 21st that: “The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, want to stay as far away as possible from the Joe Biden demand that the Ukrainian Government fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son, or they won’t get a very large amount of U.S. money, so they fabricate…”

Now, while many individuals have called for Trump’s impeachment based on his misconduct in office and handling of domestic and foreign affairs, this is not enough to qualify him to be removed from office. According to the Constitution, a president, vice president, or civil officer can only be “removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” 

Therefore, it is to no surprise that a more unconventional presidency increases the risk of rare practices like inquiries into impeachment and full impeachment. 

According to CNBC, a whistleblower complaint was delivered to the Capitol on Wednesday Sept. 25th. This complaint included a phone call Donald Trump had with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, this past July 25th. The contents of the call included Trump asking Zelensky to look into “allegations of corruption made against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.”

Donald Trump has responded to the impeachment inquiries and whistleblower complaints by tweeting: “There has been no President in the history of our Country who has been treated so badly as I have. The Democrats are frozen with hatred and fear. They get nothing done. This should never be allowed to happen to another President. Witch Hunt!” 

Trump’s references to witch hunts refers to the hysteria and accusations of women accused of witchcraft dating back to the 1400s, who were wrongfully persecuted and murdered because of said accusations. 

The problem with this whistleblower complaint is that Joseph Maguire, the acting Director of National Intelligence, “did not forward the complaint to Congress, which lawmakers have called a violation of the law” according to CNBC. The Senate then voted to force Maguire to hand over the complaint. 

What are the prospects for the future for Trump and this impeachment inquiry? According to the NY Times, the inquiry and evidence have to be sufficient enough to continue the case. If they are found to be sufficient, The House of Representatives (currently controlled by Democrats) will hold a floor vote on “one or more articles of impeachment”. A majority of the House then needs to vote to impeach the president. If this occurs, the case then moves to Senate (currently controlled by Republicans) for a trial. Once the trial is complete, Senate will hold a vote to convict the president. If 2⁄3 of Senate votes to convict Trump, then Trump is removed from office, if not, he stays. 

Trump has countlessly played the victim of attacks from opposing individuals, and Democrats, and this is not to say that he hasn’t been wrongfully accused and painted as all bad. A historical example of this villainizing, is Richard Nixon’s presidency. After the Watergate Scandal, his presidency and approval rating is ranked one of the lowest in history. When people were asked to rank the best to worst presidents, Nixon generally fell towards the bottom of the list because of his impeachment. 

This is not to say that Trump hasn’t done anything wrong; of course he has. This era of crassness and pointing fingers, on both sides, is very intense. Many individuals have told me that they have gotten into politics and started paying attention, because it’s like a ‘reality show’. Unfortunately, politics shouldn’t be so tumultuous and drama-inducing that it is entertaining.  Politics should be serious, but also politicians should be honest, and Nixon blew that stereotype out of the water, shedding light on the secrecy and lies of politics. 

Ultimately, what does this impeachment inquiry mean for America as a nation? There are one of two possibilities; if the impeachment inquiry even gets to the House and ultimately passes through, it most likely will be denied by the Senate. Even if the impeachment miraculously gets to the president and he is removed, Mike Pence would become the president.

Regardless of how you feel about Mike Pence, this inquiry greatly affects the presidency and politics of America, and its future.

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