House passes articles of impeachment against the president


Obtained via Creative Commons

Kyle Hawley, Opinions Editor

President Donald J. Trump has become the third president in U.S. history to be impeached by the United States House of Representatives. In a historic debate and vote on the House floor, the Democratic-majority passed two articles of impeachment against the president on Dec. 18.

Months following a rigorous impeachment inquiry into President Trump and his administration, the Democrats had finally introduced the two articles of impeachment last week that would eventually be brought forward before the House. The first article was for his crimes of abuse of power and the second for his Obstruction of Congress.

“I’m glad to see the president finally being held accountable for the things he has done while in office,” said junior Emma Steel, who is very politically involved. “If the Republicans had maintained the House [of Representatives] this last election cycle, then he would have gotten away with it.”

After hours of debate featuring Republican congressman comparing the president to Jesus Christ and claiming the Democrats are worse than Pontius Pilot, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi declared it was time for the debates to end and for the House to alas vote on the legislation.

“The Republicans will do what it takes to stop the Democrats from kicking Trump out for no reason,” said junior Claire Akard, a conservative. “It has been a promise since the midterm [elections] to see the president impeached so I’m not surprised at all with the vote.”

The first article accused Trump of using the presidency to his own benefit. In July, the president had contacted the newly elected president of Ukraine, Volodymr Zelensky, in an attempt to have his administration the illegal doings of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

Hunter Biden has a history with Ukraine and many believe he profited off a foreign advisory, furthering possible corruption. Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic presidential frontrunner, is a huge opponent to Trump in his re-election bid. The U.S. president threatened that if Ukraine failed to investigate the Bidens, then he would withhold foreign aid from them. Since the exposure, Zelensky defended Trump in numerous interviews, declaring he was not pressured in any way.

“The president will surely be acquitted and he will win the 2020 election in a landslide,” Akard said.

The second article proposed was to charge Trump with his obstruction on Congress. Trump had blocked the House’s investigation into his administration.

“If Trump is not guilty, then he should have free willingly opened up the White House staff to be subpoenaed,” Steel said.

The Democrats passed this measure 229-198, one vote difference of the previous passing of the first article.

Every single Republican representative voted against the articles of impeachment, however, the right-wing party managed to secure a few Democrats to vote against or abstain from the articles as well. Two Democrats, Jefferson Van Drew, and Collin C. Peterson, strayed away from their colleagues for the vote and wished to see the impeachment inquiry end.

On Dec. 19, Rep. Jefferson Van Drew met with President Trump to announce his party switch and join the Republican party. He claimed it was a “better fit” for him, even though it may cost him re-election, similar to the Democratic congressmen and women of Trump districts who voted for impeachment.

While she did not vote yea or nay on the articles of impeachment, 2020 presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard was the only Democrat to abstain from the vote. She wanted to censure the president, a smaller consequence then removing him from office.

Now that the Democrats have passed the articles, officially impeaching President Trump, it is now time to proceed with a trial.

“According to the Constitution, it will go to the Senate where the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will preside over the trial. If two-thirds of the Senate votes to remove him, then he will be removed from office, but if they acquit, then he will remain in office,” AP Government teacher, Karen McNamara said.

However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has openly declared she will not pass on the articles to the Senate unless the House is guaranteed they will conduct a fair and honest trial. Although some argue this is corrupt, the Constitution does not state if and when the impeachment trial must begin, so she is legally allowed to withhold it from the Senate until they wish to proceed.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has declared the speaker is wrong to do this and must hand over the articles immediately so the Senate can start. The Republican-dominant Senate has stated they have no intention of removing the president, and unless they have 20 defectors to join the Democrats, then Trump will remain in power.