President Donald Trump Impeached for Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Justice


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While the House of Representatives was voting on his impeachment, President Trump was holding a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Jenny Won, Assistant A&E Editor

The House of Representatives voted on December 18, 2019 to impeach Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States, for abuse of power and obstruction of justice. This makes Trump the third U.S. president ever to be impeached, following Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1999. The decision regarding whether to remove President Trump from office will be made when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sends the articles of impeachment to Senate.

Contrary to what some may believe, impeachment does not mean President Trump will be removed from office; only the Senate has the power to remove a sitting president from office, according to The Washington Post.

“Impeachment is a Constitutional power of the House of Representatives,” social studies department chair Jon Resendez said. “It allows the House to start the process of removing a federal official from office by collecting evidence against them, but the Senate needs to vote to remove them; in the simplest terms, impeachment is merely an accusation, it is not a removal.”

Following the vote, the evidence collected by the House will be sent to the Senate for a second vote that determines whether or not Trump is removed from office. However, the current Republican majority in the Senate may make an acquittal more likely than a removal.

The House of Representatives made its decision in December based on two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of justice. 

The House judiciary committee found “incontrovertible evidence that President Trump abused his power by pressuring the newly elected president of Ukraine to announce an investigation into President Trump’s political rival,” according to the New York Times. 

In today’s political atmosphere, impeachment sets a new historical precedent. 

“The political process compared to the other two presidents [who were impeached] differs in this situation because we are now in a 24/7 news cycle media where there is always news to be generated,” social studies teacher Wind Ralston said. “Today, you have instant polling, instant feedback and opinions about impeachment from the general public that wasn’t a reality for Johnson or Clinton.”

The current stage in the impeachment proceedings makes it difficult to gauge exactly what the long-term impact of Trump’s impeachment will be. 

Even if the Senate acquits Trump, “the impeachment votes in the House put an indelible stain on Mr. Trump’s presidency that cannot be wiped from the public consciousness” and will likely have a profound effect on the 2020 presidential election, according to the New York Times.

“The biggest concern about impeachment is that it’s very polarizing,” Resendez said. “It can break people apart based on party ideology… I just hope that people approach impeachment open-minded, that they listen to each other, and they don’t let it yet be another thing that splits them from one another.”