The Impeachment of Donald Trump
By Sophia Alexandrou
On December 18, 2019, President Donald Trump was officially impeached. The months leading up to this event showed a strong divide within the House of Representatives. With 197 Republicans and 232 Democrats currently in the House, the vote to impeach the president was done almost entirely along party lines. The vote that charged the president with abuse of power was 230-197 and 229-198 for obstruction of justice. This event makes President Trump the third president in US history to be impeached and could put him on track to be the first president to be fully removed from office.
The impeachment inquiry began on September 24, 2019. This occurred about a month after the whistle-blower filed a complaint with the intelligence inspector general about an alleged “quid pro quo” that President Trump tried to make with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in attempt to get dirt on former Vice President and 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. The charge is that in a call that was disguised as a congratulatory call regarding the recent Ukrainian election, President Trump tried to get Zelensky to look into any corruption in which the Bidens may have been involved. In return, Trump assured Zelensky that he would receive $400 million worth of military assistance and a visit to the White House. Then, Trump held back the funds, which had been approved by Congress, while waiting for Zelensky to announce that he was investigating the Bidens. Many believe that this action was illegal and that it endangered the Ukrainians, who are fighting off Russian aggression.
The whistle-blower was never officially identified despite accusations made by the President about their identity over Twitter. During the hearing, there were passionate arguments made by both sides, including a debate that lasted six hours. This impeachment hearing demonstrated how determined the Democrats are to follow through with impeachment and how loyal the Republicans are to the president regardless of the indisputable evidence presented on the blue side. This included a transcript in which the quid pro quo was discussed and sworn testimonies.
The three months leading up to this decision have been the epitome of the what political climate has been like since President Trump was elected in 2016. Since then, Democrats and Republicans have been extremely divided, and bipartisanship has become less frequent. This impeachment hearing shows the lengths that certain politicians will go to just to prove their loyalty to their party and their candidate rather than their country.
In response to this impeachment, the president has responded with remarks of exasperation, calling it a “witch hunt” and “hoax” even before the final decision was made. After he was officially impeached, Trump tweeted, “SUCH ATROCIOUS LIES BY THE RADICAL LEFT, DO NOTHING DEMOCRATS. THIS IS AN ASSAULT ON AMERICA, AND AN ASSAULT ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!!”
While this impeachment did not have any effect on Trump’s position as president, to say that it did not hurt his chances of being re-elected would be incorrect. President Trump’s corruption and loyalty to his own ambition and campaign rather than his country was exposed to American citizens and the entire world. Though many of his supporters will choose to still vote for him, some will not.
Of course, voting for him may not even be an option after the hearing that will be held by the Senate occurs deciding whether or not to remove President Trump from office. However, many are skeptical that this will happen, since the Republicans hold a majority in the Senate.
Either way, President Trump has proved to the American people where his allegiance truly lies and because of that, he will go down in history as the third president of the United States to be impeached.