What to Know on Quid Pro: President Trump is officially impeached



The House of Representatives votes to impeach President Donald J. Trump.

Keri Rhodes, News Writer

Confusing, complicated and complex: these three words can all be used to describe the average American’s response to the discussion of impeachment, which has consumed the nation since August when a whistleblower complaint was filed. President Trump has been accused of promising U.S. aid to Ukraine in exchange for undisclosed information about Joe Biden, a Democratic candidate for the 2020 election and former vice president. Although a number of public and private hearings have been held throughout the lengthy process, on Tuesday, Dec. 3, House Democrats released a 300-page impeachment report.
The report, released by the House Intelligence Committee, not only states that the president put his personal interests above those of the United States, but that the founding fathers “prescribed a remedy” for such corrupt leaders. This “remedy” is impeachment, and 47.5 percent of Americans support this solution while 45.8 percent are against it, according to a poll taken by the website FiveThirtyEight.
The release of the report further polarized public opinion, but it also commenced a new stage of the impeachment process. Both parties will debate in the House Judiciary Committee, which has only occurred three other times in history. During the week of Dec. 9, a lawyer from both parties presented their cases. However, many believe that impeachment means removal from office, while it is simply just a statement of charges.
In order to be removed from office, a president must first be impeached, but the Senate must hold a trial following the impeachment in which they make a final decision on removal. It requires a two-thirds vote, and with Republicans in control of the Senate, removal would be a difficult task.
There are two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump: obstructing Congress and abuse of power. The Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Thursday, Dec. 12 to discuss the potential amendment of these articles. If the committee votes to send the articles to the House, an impeachment vote will proceed.
Trump supporters are left unsure of why Democrats are persistent in trying to impeach the president. Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, spoke about the Democrats’ urgency to impeach before it is too late.
“We do not intend to delay when the integrity of the next election is still at risk,” Schiff stated, according to the New York Times.
Jerry Nadler, the committee chairman, stated that Trump is the first president to meet all the requirements of impeachment, which include interference in elections, abuse of power and betrayal of national security. The House Judiciary Committee took over starting on Dec. 4, and those hearings are expected to last into next week. Michael Gerhardt, a witness at the Dec. 4 testimony, explained his feelings on the matter in an interview with the Guardian.
“If Congress fails to impeach here, then the impeachment process has lost all meaning, and, along with that, our constitution’s carefully crafted safeguards against the establishment of a king on American soil,” Gerhardt said.
On the morning of Dec. 13, the House Judiciary Committee approved of the two articles of impeachment. Surprisingly, the house discussed for less than 10 minutes, and the full house vote occurred the following week.
On Wednesday, Dec. 18 the president was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The article on abuse of power passed 230 to 197, and the second charge passed 229 to 198. As anticipated the votes reflected the intense partisanship in America. Only two Democrats opposed the first charge, and three opposed the second.
With Trump being the third president to face removal from office, this decision for impeachment is sure to be remembered throughout history. The Senate will hold a trial in order to decide upon removal, but the official date has not yet been announced. It is assumed that the trial will take place sometime at the beginning of the new year.