President Donald J. Trump becomes the third president to be impeached in U.S. history. The House of Representatives voted to impeach the president on Wednesday night after months of debating on. The House voted on 2 articles of impeachment.
The first article of impeachment charged President Trump with “abuse of power,” which is a constitutional standard for removal from office. This is based on President Trump withholding 400 million dollars in aid and the allegation that his and his lawyer’s, Rudy Giuliani, actions “to secure investigations, subverted US interests. Undermining national security is perhaps more straightforward to prove since Trump’s actions likely served Russian interests” according to an executive report.
President Trump had coaxed Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, to announce a political investigation into former Vice President and political rival, Joe Biden. President Trump had conditioned 2 official acts in order to get the Ukrainian President to oblige: a White House visit and U.S. military assistance for Ukraine to fight its Russian adversary.
On July 25, 2019, President Zelensky expressed his gratitude to Trump over a phone call. President Trump replied that President Zelensky should “do us a favor though” and announce an investigation of Joe Biden. The Ukrainian president assured President Trump that he would pursue the investigation. President Trump’s scheme was politically motivated in order to support his reelection campaign and lead to a discredited theory that it was the Democrats and Ukraine that interfered in the 2016 presidential election and not Russia.
The speaker of the house of representatives, Nancy Pelosi, announced that the votes resulted in 230 yeas (ayes) and 197 nays (nos), adopting article I. Only 2 Democrats voted against the impeachment, Representative Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and no republican voted against Trump.
The second article of impeachment accused President Trump of “obstruction of Congress.” Trump had blocked congress’s investigation into his alleged misconduct by refusing to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, which he calls a “witch hunt.” He banned current and former aides to testify including former national security adviser, John Bolton, and Chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney and refused others such as Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to release documents.
The second article officially passed with the 229 yeas and 198 nays. Democratic representatives Mr.Peterson and Mr.Drew also voted no on this article along with another Democrat, Representative Jared Golden of Maine, who voted aye on “abuse of power” and no on “obstruction of Congress.” Once again, no republicans voted against Trump.
Donald Trump’s Impeachment in the House does not necessarily mean he is gone for good. The case now heads to the Senate for trial, where they will decide whether to convict or acquit the president. It is unlikely Trump will be removed from the office. The Senate is composed of 53 republican, 45 democrats, and 2 independents who usually lean democrat. A conviction requires ⅔ of the senate vote so at least 20 republicans need to vote against President Trump and from the voting results presented by the house, it is unlikely Republicans will vote against the President.
The nation’s viewpoint on President Trump differs from the other former impeached presidents: Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon. Clinton’s job approval ratings were high before his scandal and they remained so. Trump’s approval ratings have remained stable but at a considerably low level of 45% (News Gallup) compared to Clinton who had a 62% (PEW Research Center) job approval rate before his impeachment. Former President Nixon, on the other hand, began with an approval rate of 52% which decreased to 24% (PEW Research Center) due to the watergate scandal. The support for Trump’s impeachment and removal has also decreased from 52% to 46% (CNN National Poll).
President Trump’s Recent proceedings of impeachment illustrate just how polarized the country is. Americans’ views on Trump are neatly split along partisan lines. Trump’s presidency along with all the presidents that came before him represents America’s dishonest political system. It seems as though our government and presidents have entirely forgotten that they should be a “government of the people, by the people, FOR the people.”