NT reflects on impeachment

Students see the recent impeachment inquiry as justified

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump on Sept. 24, an action that students have been following closely.

The inquiry will investigate the potential constitutional violations that Trump committed when he pressured the Ukrainian President to investigate Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden.

Many students from across the political spectrum have stated that the inquiry is justified.

“If he tried to cover up in the first place, then clearly he knows what he’s doing is wrong,” said senior Caitlin Carr-Smith.

Junior David Tabarez-Cisneros, head of the Republican club, agreed.

“I think these proceedings are justified and any president should be held accountable if they break the law, regardless of party or affiliation. I also think that Trump should be given a fair trial,” said Tabarez-Cisneros.

Tabarez-Cisneros added that Biden should also be investigated.

“I think Joe Biden should also be investigated alongside Trump due to [Biden’s] withholding of funds to Ukraine during 2015-2016,” said Tabarez-Cisneros.

Though junior Gavin Tian, secretary of the Republican club, agreed that the proceedings could be justified if a crime is determined, he worried that the inquiry might simply be a way for the Democrats to target Trump ahead of the 2020 elections.

“I think this is really overhyped and it can potentially go in the direction of the Mueller probe, where a link wasn’t really found,” said Tian.

To Tian, the outcome of the investigation will likely determine how he votes in the upcoming election.

“If the investigation turns out to lead to nothing it would make me a bit inclined to vote for Trump. But if the investigation leads to something big, I don’t think I’ll vote,” said Tian.

Currently, six House committees are tasked with investigating Trump. They will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to recommend a full House vote on articles of impeachment.

If the House committees determine that there is sufficient evidence to proceed with the impeachment process, Trump’s impeachment would require a majority vote in the House. If this were to happen, Trump’s removal from office would still require a two-thirds vote in the Senate.

Historically, only 2 presidents have been formally impeached–Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. However, neither President was removed from office.

Because of these factors, although many students predict that Trump will be impeached, few believe the President will actually be removed from office–especially since the 2020 election might come along before a decision has been reached.

Senior Charlotte Cleary, who identifies as Independent, doesn’t believe the investigation will amount to anything.

“I don’t know what will happen, but sadly I don’t think much honestly. Every time the FBI has said they found the ‘smoking gun’ nothing happens; it’s just gets swept under the rug,” said Cleary.

Junior Ethan VanGosen, who is co-head of Non-Partisans Club, agreed that the proceedings will likely not have much of an impact on the President; he believes that the Republican controlled Senate is an insurmountable obstacle.

“I don’t believe that the Senate, which is controlled by the Republicans, will vote to remove President Trump from office,” said VanGosen.

The belief that Senate Republicans would never vote to remove Trump from office had previously discouraged Democrats from pursuing impeachment. However, the first whistleblower’s report pushed many, including Speaker Pelosi and many moderate Democrats, to change their minds.

“The actions of the Trump presidency have revealed the dishonorable fact of the president’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and betrayal of the integrity of our elections,” said Pelosi in a statement to the press on Sept. 24.

The President has denied these allegations and refused to cooperate with the inquiry.

“The White House declared war on the House impeachment inquiry on Tuesday [Oct. 8], announcing that it would not cooperate with what it called an illegitimate effort ‘to overturn the results of the 2016 election’ and setting the stage for a constitutional clash with far-reaching consequences,” stated a New York Times article.

Junior Antigone Zervas, who supports the Democratic party, believes the investigation will exacerbate the polarization of American politics.

“I don’t think anything will be achieved. I feel that this will divide the country more. In my opinion, there is no political benefit for the [Democrats] to attempt to impeach the President,” said Zervas.

Despite the potential for partisan controversy, VanGosen believes the issues raised by the impeachment inquiry are important for all people, regardless of party affiliation, to consider.

“The American people deserve a leader that is transparent and acts on the will of the people. A good president should not use their power to accomplish personal interests,” said VanGosen.