By Carina Cole News Reporter
Congress has initiated an impeachment inquiry against a president only three times in United States history. After being impeached, not one of them was removed from office; Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were acquitted, and Richard Nixon resigned before the Senate could vote. The focus of the current impeachment inquiry is a phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In the call, President Trump asked for a favor from the President of Ukraine: to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, who is currently campaigning for the 2020 presidential election, and his son Hunter Biden.
The reason these events are so important is impeachment can lead to the removal of the president of the United States, and the reputations of President Trump and Joe Biden are at stake. Impeachment is the most extreme political action that can be taken in our system of government. Even after impeachment, in order to remove an official from office, two thirds of the U.S. Senate must vote to convict, which means in this case, Republicans will also have to agree to remove the president from office. Trump’s impeachment scandal is unique because it is the first time impeachment inquiry has involved relationships with the head of a foreign country.
Essentially, the charge is that Trump was asking for a favor from the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, and in return Ukraine would receive substantial amounts of money from the United States in military aid approved by Congress. The central question in the matter is likely to be exactly what President Trump meant when he said he needed a favor. If it is proven that President Trump was seeking to gain information in exchange for military aid, it could be considered a quid pro quo. This means giving one valuable thing for another. A partial transcript was released by the White House with some details of the conversation between Trump and Zelensky.
Biden has been the leading Democratic candidate for the upcoming 2020 election, meaning he may be seen as a threat to President Trump’s re-election campaign. While Biden was Vice President, his son Hunter took a position with a gas company in Ukraine. The head of that company had previously been under investigation in Ukraine for corruption. President Trump and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, suspected that Vice President Biden misused his government position to stop investigation of the head of the company his son was involved with. Any negative information about Biden or his son’s actions could be helpful to President Trump in the 2020 election. The irony of the situation is that President Trump is now being investigated for the same thing he suspected of Vice President Biden, misusing his position to influence the Ukraine in order to obtain a personal benefit.
All of the facts are not yet known, and much is likely to be revealed in the near future. Because not all of the information has been revealed, we should not jump to conclusions just yet. I believe that if President Trump misused his power as executive leader, he deserves to be impeached. It is clear to me that President Trump was seeking to gain negative information about an opposing candidate to harm the candidate’s reputation and gain an advantage in the 2020 presidential election. But only if he used the powers of the presidential office to do so should he be impeached.
Part 1 HERE