An update and deep dive into the third presidential impeachment in the United States
So, the president was impeached. What now?
For just the third time in American history, the President of the United States was impeached by the House of Representatives for obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.
This vote passed almost entirely upon party lines with the articles receiving 230-197 and 229-198 votes, respectively, in favor of impeachment. However, this does not mean that the president has been removed from office.
According to the Constitution, the House has the right to charge a president with crimes, and now there must be a trial in the Senate, where the House will act as the prosecuting body and the Senators will serve as jurors.
Before that trial can happen, Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, is charged with submitting those articles to the Senate. However, CNN reported Pelosi is hesitant to send the articles to the Senate for unclear reasons.
This is causing major upset in the Republican party over the dishonesty and obvious partisan leadership that is occuring when the future of America is at stake. This raises a couple pertinent questions. If America is really in danger because of this president, as the Democrats believe, what is Pelosi’s hesitation? Is she not just giving President Trump more time to cause harm?
Pelosi swore she would not pursue impeachment unless she knew it would be a bipartisan effort, but the voting proved just the opposite. This leaves two questions. What does this mean for America and what are the next steps?
First of all, it is important to understand what the House actually impeached the president over. It had nothing to do with the Russia probe, or anything with regards to that investigation. According to BBC news, “President Trump is accused of pressuring Ukraine to dig up damaging information on one of his main Democratic challengers for the presidency in 2020, Joe Biden, and his son Hunter.”
This is where we get the two articles of impeachment from. The Democrats believe the president’s request for Ukraine to look into the Biden’s was related to bringing down his opponent in the upcoming presidential race. Asking for a personal favor by using his office would count as an abuse of power. The largest problem with this article is that it would have been equally as valid for the president to ask for an investigation of Biden’s to rectify the wrongs done in 2016.
The second article of impeachment involves President Trump’s lack of cooperation in providing witnesses and information to Congress. Again, this is not an obstruction of justice, but of Congress. The important factor here is that Congress could have issued a subpoena for whatever information they wanted. Then, had Trump continued to refuse to provide evidence they could have gone to the Supreme Court and charged the President with obstruction of justice, an actual high crime.
Because the Democrats rushed through this, they did not take actions that proved they were doing this in good faith. Now, the Senate must conjure up a set of rules for how this trial is to be conducted. According to the Washington Post, they will try to use the rules used in the Clinton hearings.
Ultimately, until the articles have been sent to the Senate, and then Trump has been removed from office, the president will continue conducting business as usual from the Oval Office.
What this means for Trump and for the nation are two very different things. This impeachment has proved that America has reached a breaking point. This partisan impeachment has dramatically lowered the bar for impeachable offenses, seeing how no one is even sure that the president commit a high crime or misdemeanor.
This speaks to the lack of trust and shared moral code among Americans. Before they held the vote, every representative spoke on the matter of impeachment and both sides called upon the founding fathers and the Constitution as their right to impeach or against impeachment. We are turning to a point where anyone can manipulate intentions based on what they want it to mean, not on honest interpretation.
This hearing lowered the value of the word “impeachment” and made a mockery of our political system. Left, right, or center, this is a sad time for Americans watching their political system fail them.
We must remember that the attacks on Trump are not only directed at him, but at anyone who supports him. It is time to learn to separate politician and party, and party and person.
Republicans need to stop putting Trump on a “he never does anything bad” pedestal. Democrats need to stop painting all Republicans as racist and sexist, and get to know the individual before passing judgement.
Unless we can start treating individuals as who they are, this will not be the last partisan impeachment this country sees, something the founders definitely did not intend.