Trump is Impeached

Posted by on Dec 19, 2019 in Government

Wednesday evening, December 19, 2019, Donald J. Trump–the 45th president of the United States became the third president impeached by the House of Representatives. Trump joins Andrew Johnson (1868) and Bill Clinton (1998) in this less-than-desirable group. (Richard Nixon resigned from the executive office in 1974 before he could be officially impeached.)

It has been approximately six months since the anonymous Whistleblower brought to the public concerns surrounding a phone call that the president held with the newly-elected Ukraine president. Since that time, the Democratic Party leadership in the House of Representatives have been considering an impeachment effort against the president. It has been about three months since the actual impeachment inquiry began.

The Partisan Vote

The members of the House of Representatives voted 230 to 197 in favor of the first article of impeachment (abuse of power). They voted 229 to 198 in favor of the second article of impeachment (obstruction of justice). Every Republican member of the House voted against the two articles of impeachment.

Hawaii’s Representative Tulsi Gabbard (who has also been competing for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination) chose to vote “present” for both articles of impeachment.

Collin Peterson (a Minnesota Democrat) and Jeff Van Drew (a New Jersey Democrat) joined the Republicans by voting against Article 1. Jared Golden (a Democrat from Maine) voted alongside Peterson and Van Drew against the second article of impeachment.

Questions About the Upcoming Trial

Next, the political question focuses on when will a trial begins in the Senate. According to the United States Constitution, the Senate serves as the trial body to determine if an impeached government official should be convicted, removed from office, or otherwise punished. But the leading members of the Senate majority have the authority to determine the procedures for how such a trial will be conducted.

So far, Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell has indicated in his public statements that he is sympathetic to the president and will work with the impeached president’s lawyers. Those who remain critical of Trump are angry with McConnell’s statements and claim he is not being objective and further is in violation of his oath to uphold the Constitution. Some observers wonder if House Democratic Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi will delay the official transfer of the approved articles of impeachment in an attempt to pressure McConnell to back down from his pro-Trump position.

Dig Deeper Use the Internet or your school’s library to learn more about the history of Andrew Johnson’s and Bill Clinton’s impeachment. What similarities and what differences can you identify about the controversy surrounding the impeachment of Donald Trump?