Impeachment Inevitable

Sungwon Chung ‘22

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For too long, President Trump has been repeatedly abusing his power, and not abiding by the Supreme Laws of the Land set in place by our founding fathers to ensure that America stays free of corruption. With unconstitutional policies both at home and abroad, the president is using his powers for personal interests rather than national benefit.

 

Recently, Congress has begun a formal impeachment process against President Trump. This came after a whistleblower complaint was made regarding President Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky in July of 2019. Now, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has made a formal impeachment inquiry in gathering all the information they need in order to press the case for impeachment. 

 

The first whistleblower complaint stated that the president had proposed a promise with Ukraine during a phone call with President Zelensky where Ukraine would investigate Democratic candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter–Trump’s current political enemies–in return for government resources such as defense and military support against Russia. This definitely appears as out of bounds for any president, as they represent the country’s decisions and should not direct federal resources for personal interests.

 

Although the president has repeatedly denied a quid pro quo against Ukraine, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney confessed to a quid pro quo, stating that “we do that all the time with foreign policy” [1]. Later on, he denied that he confessed to a quid pro quo being used, although it was broadcasted on live TV.

 

This triggered a frenzy of outcries by Democrats to release the phone call-transcripts and to find out whether or not the proposal was made, and if so, if it was within the boundaries to push impeachment against the president. The House subpoenaed for documents from the State Department, but failed to meet the deadlines. During a press conference, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the administration is doing its best to stay within legal bounds, and that “it’s very clear… there’s clearly politics involved in this” [2].

 

The president claimed to have released a full transcript of the call; however, what the White House released was a copy of the notes taken down by the cabinet who were listening in on the phone call, not the real transcript itself.

 

Following this, a second whistleblower complaint came to light; with this whistleblower being described as an intelligence official, his/her inside knowledge of the phone call may counter President Trump’s claims that these whistleblowers are “totally inaccurate.” According to the whistleblowers, at least six other people know deep into the case, potentially widening the scope of the investigation done by the House.

 

This is not the first time the idea of impeachment was sounded. Ever since the 2016 election, there have been a series of questions about Russia’s interference in the elections, as well as possible cases of Obstruction of Justice by the president and his aides. This led to the opening of an investigation by an FBI Special Council led by Robert Muller. The obstruction that President Trump was accused of was aimed towards his efforts to thwart the investigation by removing people who were investigating him from the FBI.

 

The investigation concluded with the Muller Report, a 448 page document describing the findings of the investigation [3]. It was split into two volumes. Volume one stated that the Russian attempts to influence the elections were insignificant, and volume two described possible obstruction of justice but concluded that the Justice Department could not indict a current sitting president. For this reason, Muller stated, “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

 

If the Special House Committee decides to bring forth articles of impeachment against the president, then it is passed onto the whole House of Representatives where the charges are voted for or against through simple majority. If passed, the House appoints members from the Senate to represent the prosecution against the president during the trials. These members are usually from the Senate Judiciary Committee. If two-thirds of the Senate agrees to convict, the President would be removed from office. 

 

[1] https://www.npr.org/2019/10/20/771724300/mulvaney-walks-back-ukraine-remarks-admits-it-wasnt-a-perfect-press-conference

[2] https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/impeachment-inquiry-10-05-2019/index.html

[3] https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/5955372/Mueller-Report.pdf

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