The seeds of controversy have grown day-after-day since the impeachment of Donald Trump first began. As 45th President of the United States, he is part of a long chain of leadership that this country has generated that have reaped heaps of distrust, suspicion, and a protracted war of words. Since 1789, the House of Representatives on 62 occasions has brought impeachment hearings to the table.
Impeachment is enshrined in the Constitution as a way to monitor and restrict a president’s power and to determine whether or not a president is guilty of treason, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors. Impeachment is a method of formally charging top political authorities by a legislative body. It sets the foundation for the removal of presidents and other federal officials by the Congress. Only after the trial and conviction in the Senate is completed and an impeachment vote from the House of Representatives is established is a president officially impeached.
Thus far, not a single sitting president has ever been forced out of office. Even when the crimes are well known and proven, the impeachment process is complicated and fragile. Richard Nixon, for example, committed numerous crimes that are well documented and known. But in 1974, after the articles of impeachment were drafted and after taking note of the likelihood of an almost unanimous vote in the House, Nixon resigned and was pardoned.
Suffice to say, things are not different today. House Democrats have alleged that Donald Trump is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. Democrats withal have spoken about many possible impeachable offenses, such as how Trump purportedly fired FBI Director James Comey for his investigations into the Russiagate scandal, solicited and promoted foreign interference into U.S. elections, and abused his power by threatening to withhold aid from Ukraine. But House Democrats submitted only two articles of impeachment against Trump, mainly addressing his alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Historically, what is going down in Washington is the “third time that the Senate has ever been asked to formally consider removing a president.” But some would say it’s all being done on narrow terms. That is to say, the totality of issues are not at stake and a can of worms is being opened. Refuse Fascism, a mass organization created in response to the dangers they perceive in the rise of the Trump/Pence regime, said in response to the trials that:
“The Republicans are rigging this trial and the one force that could actually change this equation is the power of the people coming out in the streets and demanding witnesses, demanding evidence and demanding conviction and removal,”
But U.S. Representative from New York, Paul Tonko, would beg to differ, saying impeachment is necessary, confronts serious issues, and that Trump’s blaring misconduct has become increasingly urgent and apparent. He also said:
“When faced with a President who has deliberately and maliciously acted to undermine the very core of our democracy – our free and fair elections and our system of checks and balances – my duty to the Constitution and our great country compels me to act. To not do so would render me complicit.”
Republicans on the other hand have argued this is an irredeemable “witch-hunt” and a total sham trial. When pressed on this issue, the New York Republican State Committee has said:
“Throughout this entire partisan spectacle, President Trump has been denied due process and Democrats have relied entirely on opinion and hearsay from individuals deeply opposed to President Trump, while ignoring hard facts and their own previous metrics for impeachment.”
The Republicans have loads of other arguments up their sleeve too. First there was no quid-pro-quo. Now, even if there was a quid-pro-quo, they say, it was not illegal or impeachable. Some Republicans think that while Trump acted inappropriately, none of his actions are tantamount to the charges brought forward by the Democrats and others.
Whatever the case, the trial has ended. The proceedings were irregular to say the least, and Trump has been acquitted largely due to the Republican majority in the senate. The vote concluded and only one Republican broke party lines, Mitt Romney.
It is important to note that acquittal does not mean exoneration, and the decision reached by the trial came not from a jury of peers, but “a jury of partisans,” said Governor Cuomo.
In putting an end to pen on paper, we see that the attempts by House Democrats have seemingly been futile. Nevertheless, they apparently will continue pursuing any other possible barriers for a re-election of Trump. This counts questing for a retrial on the same formal charges as submitted previously, forcing the House and perhaps the Senate to reopen the case. Though, pursuing further charges is unlikely and deemed political suicide.
If House Democrats pursue impeachment again or other methods to get Trump indicted, he may be under lock & key for at least a decade.
The world is watching as fears over possible vengeance and civil war are growing after the fallout. Protesters have taken to the streets from every corner of the country to either show support for Trump or to disavow the Senate trials and condemn Trump. It’s murky waters to say the least.
Everything hangs in the balance as we go to the press. Let’s hope for the best in the future. There’s growing polarization and violence, and peace is far from restored after the fallout of the impeachment.