During the past month, the impeachment trial of President Trump was a hot topic in current event news. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word “Impeach” is defined as a “verb: to charge with a crime or misdemeanor”(Merriam-Webster). Why impeachment though? While creating the Constitution of the United States, the founders feared that a president could abuse his presidential powers, so to prevent that, they included into the Constitution a process for removing the president from office. According to Article II of the Constitution, the President, can be removed from office for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” (US Constitution).
The House of Representatives voted on December 15, 2019 to impeach President Trump for “pressuring” Ukraine to investigate former Vice President, Joe Biden. As a result of the articles of impeachment passed by the House, the United States Senate held a trial, which began January 16, 2020, to consider whether or not President Trump should be removed from office for “abuse of power and obstruction of Congress”(Wikipedia).
The process of impeachment starts with the House, in which they debate and vote on whether or not to press charges against the president upon approval of an impeachment resolution. After that, it then goes through the House Intelligence Committee which investigated whether or not Trump abused his power to pressure Ukraine to open a leeway that would benefit him in the 2020 Presidential Election and they then conducted closed-door hearings before issuing a formal evidence report. Afterwards, the House Judiciary Committee used the report to draft formal charges and voted 23-17 along party lines and approved the charges against President Trump of abuse of power.
The Senate then heard from the House Managers who acted as prosecutors, and then Trumps’ defense team. The Senate had voted not to call any additional witnesses and a vote would be taken on the evidence already presented by the House Managers and the defense team. After the month long impeachment trial, President Trump was finally acquitted on February 5th 2020.
Everyone has their own opinion about the impeachment trials or about the outcome. Personally, I thought it was a waste of time. Why? Because, for one, the Senate has 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two independents who usually vote with the Democrats. Conviction and removal of a president would require a two-thirds majority. At least 20 Republicans and all the Democrats and independents would have to vote against him to have him fully impeached. The Senate, however, is majority Republicans and they were not going to vote to convict their party leader.
Secondly, I do not believe that the charges raised to the level of “Treason, Bribery, and other High Crimes and Misdemeanors,” as the Founders intended. As to the charge that he abused the powers of his office to force the Ukrainian President to investigate Vice-President Biden and his son, to benefit his own campaign, it was clear that the Ukrainian President had no knowledge that the funds for his country were being withheld, and eventually they did receive it. If the Vice-President and his son used his office for financial gain, why isn’t that reason enough to request an investigation? Also, as to the charge of obstruction of Congress, this was because Congress subpoenaed certain documents from the administration and the President refused. Congress could then go to court and obtain a court order. The three branches of government are equal and Congress does not have the right to claim obstruction when the president claims presidential privilege, and the easy remedy is to go to court.
In conclusion, the impeachment hearings have made it even more apparent that the Democrats will try anything and everything to bash Trump and oppose everything he tries to do for this country ever since he was elected into office. Even with his constant criticism, he has been able to accomplish countless things that have improved our nation and its citizens.