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Impeachment proceedings begin against Trump

By Jacob Geller

On Tuesday, Sept. 24, House Democrats lead by Nancy Pelosi, begun official impeachment proceedings against President Trump. 

Currently, he is being charged with violating his oath of office by seeking to enlist Ukraine to investigate a political rival, Joe Biden. The situation was given light when a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative (turned whistleblower) informed Congress that Trump was threatening to withdraw US aid to Ukraine if they did not investigate Hunter Biden’s (Joe Biden’s son) business ties to the Eastern European nation. 

The long-awaited impeachment inquiry arrives months after demands for a formal inquiry come from democrats and republicans alike. Many have established that the president was unfit for office since his election. Others make valid claims that this is just another action committed by the president that violates the constitution.

The impeachment was handed down to the president by formal letter, written by Pelosi. Within the letter, she states that the administration has consistently violated the Constitution and frequently abused presidential powers. Pelosi powerfully ends her letter with the following: “…Mr. Trump must be held accountable – no one is above the law.”

The outcome is currently very uncertain. The House of Representatives has the sole authority to investigate the president in an impeachment setting. 

However, the Senate votes to remove the president from office. Currently, a republican controlled Senate will not vote to remove. For now, we can only wait for the situation to develop as more information is released and the investigation continues.

Impeachment has only occurred a few times in our nation’s history. Both Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were the only presidents to ever have been impeached. However, they were both acquitted by the Senate and were not forced to resign. 

Only one man was able to avoid his impeachment, Richard Nixon. He was only able to avoid his punishment for Watergate by resigning and having his vice president pardon him. If Trump were actually semi-intelligent, he would follow in Nixon’s footsteps. Although, as we all know, a narcissist will never admit to wrongdoing. 

Trump has already begun his attempts at foiling the investigation. Mostly recently, Trump demanded Fiona Hill, a former advisor to the president, to not comply with the House subpoena for her to testify before a committee. In a courageous act of defiance, Hill refused to comply with the president, and appeared before the House. 

And she isn’t the only one, the State Department is also set to defy the president’s orders and to testify. Even good, old nutbag Rudy Giuliani (former mayor of New York City currently Trump’s personal attorney) is being forced to comply. 

For any individual who wishes not to comply with impeachment hearings, this is against the law. The ability to subpoena any individual who refuses to appear before Congress upon order is a constitutionally given power. 

Refusing to comply is the same as refusing to comply with a subpoena given by a court. The result is imprisonment, to be held in contempt of Congress (or contempt of court).

In an already unprecedented time, Congress moves forward with impeachment against a president who claims those who hold his position are above the law. We are entering a new chapter in American history. We must be very careful how we wade through this river of conflict. 

The very framework of our constitution is being challenged. In an already extremely divided nation, will we be able to overcome these unprecedented times? We must not let Trump redefine our values to hatred and to completely destroy our political system. 

Trump is a tyrant. I encourage my fellow concerned Americans to not take this lying down. The founding fathers have constructed a constitution to prevent tyrants from doing what they please without consequence. Demand action from your representation. Exercise your right to make your voice heard. Most importantly, go out and vote.

Jacob Geller can be reached at Jacob.geller@spartans.ut.edu

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