Writer: Sarah P.
Visual: Sirah D.
Editor: Norbu D.
On December 18, 2019, Donald Trump became the third president in U.S. history to ever be impeached. The House of Representatives voted to impeach the current President of the United States on two charges: the abuse of power, with a vote of 216-197; and obstruction of Congress, with a vote of 229-198.
The Democrats centered their impeachment article on a telephone call the president had with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in July 2019. Trump urged Zelenskyy to launch an investigation into Joe Biden, former Vice President, and Hunter Biden, his son, who had served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company. Allegedly, Trump’s abuse of power was in his extortion of a promise from Zelenzkyy by withholding $391 million in military aid, which would have gone towards Ukraine’s defense against Russia.
While Trump’s impeachment is final, it does not guarantee his removal from office. Now that the House of Representatives has voted, a trial will take place where the Senate will finally decide whether Trump will be convicted. In order for Trump to be removed from office, the Senate’s vote would require 67 “yes” votes on either or both articles. This means 20 of the 53 Republican senators would have to defect to the 45 Democrats and two independents in order to convict Trump, creating a highly unlikely scenario. As of now, it remains unclear if any, let alone 20, Republican senators will vote to convict.
Can this possibly be for the best? Most recently, Trump left many appalled with his decision to assassinate past Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani. This greatly impacted US-Iran relations, leading to Iran withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal and also accidentally striking down a Ukranian commercial airplane, effectively killing all 176 passengers aboard the flight. In the past, he was infamous for rape and assault accusations and other various controversial acts, including mocking a disabled reporter and joking about dating his own daughter. Also noteworthy are his administration’s changes to US immigration policies, chiefly Trump’s travel ban that placed restrictions on many majority-Muslim nations. His actions had repercussions throughout the nation, and inadvertently acted as a gateway for people in the US to begin using prejudice as a basis to refuse to employ someone.
Notwithstanding, unemployment within several minority groups in the US was at a record low since nearly fifty years ago. Many argued that his pro-growth policies, his focus on infrastructure investment, and his move away from a bureaucratic system has allowed the US economy to flourish. Evidently, those who argue for Trump’s impeachment have valid reasons, although others’ opinions are also well founded on his past actions.
Currently, it seems more likely than not that Trump will remain in office as President of the United States, especially since the final vote is decided by a majority Republican Senate—at least until the end of his term. The 2020 US presidential election is expected to be one of the closest in years, and there is indeed a chance that Trump will not be living in the White House this time around next year. Still, it appears we will have to wait until November’s voting to see if the US will have a new leader, or if the world will be met with another four year Trump presidency, which no doubt will have many more surprises in store.
Brooks, David. “Impeach Trump. Then Move On.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 31 Oct. 2019, http://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/31/opinion/trump-impeachment.html?auth=login-email&login=email.
Stewart, Emily. “The House Impeachment Vote Won’t Remove Trump from Office. Here’s What Can.” Vox, Vox, 19 Dec. 2019, http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/12/17/21025559/how-to-remove-trump-from-office-impeachment.