President Trump’s Impeachment

The case regarding the impeachment of President Donald J Trump was debated on December 18, 2019. Trump has recently been accused of bribing the Ukranian government, high crimes and misdeamenors, and disrupting national security as a result. The President allegedly disobeyed the law when he witheld funds from the Ukranian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, due to lack of dirt on political opponent Joe Biden. Trump believed that Hunder Biden (Joe Biden’s son) helped to corrupt a company, and his father may have swayed the owner of the company to allow Biden to remain employed.

If this conspiracy theory was true, it was morally wrong enough for Joe Biden’s reputation to be tarnished, therefore Trump made a point to attempt to investigate. Upon realization of the situation at hand, President Trump willingly released tapes of the phone call to the public. This helped to prevent a whistleblower complaint. The whistleblowers are defined as people who work to expose any illegal and controversal activity within the federal government. Records of the phone call between the two presidents with supposed proof of extortion was examined and annotated.  Through the document, the accusers (particularly the Democratic political party) gained enough proof of Trump’s crime to hold a trial in the House of Representatives. Subsequently, Trump now has the title of the third president of the United States to be officially impeached, although there has never been a president to be removed from office altogether. The only other two presidents to be impeached were Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.

Although I disagree with many Republican and Conservative stances on current affairs, I personally believe that Donald Trump should not have been impeached. According to the phone conversation between Donald Trump and Zelensky, there is ultimately no proof that President Trump has, in fact, used bribery to influence an election. Plus, it is quite clear that the Democrats are partisan on the matter. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, was skeptical at first about the impeachment of President Trump, because it could be deemed as a partisan act on the Democrat party’s behalf. Any conviction resulting from a Democrat would arise sympathy for the Republican party. Democrats believe that Donald Trump is acting more like an oppressive king, than a President.

Impeachment is a political process in which the members of the legislative branch testifies against another government official. The critical purpose of impeachment is to prove that

no federal official is above the laws of the United States. The impeachable offenses listed in the constitution are: treason, bribery, perjury, and high crimes and misdeamenors. Not only is the president of the United States at risk of impeachment by Congress, but all federal officials are available for impeachment.  In order for a government official to be convicted and officially accused of a crime, 51% of the House of Representatives must vote in favor of impeachment. Following the vote in the House of Representatives, the Senate votes on the case. In order for an official to be fully removed from office, ⅔ of the Senate must vote against them.

So far, that has never happened in all of America’s history. Donald Trump will undoubtedly remain in office after his Senate trial, because the current Senate representatives favor the Republican political party, whereas the Democratic party has a heavier influence on the House of Representatives.

Over the course of many years and many presidencies, the executive branch has become a lot more powerful politically. This gain of power is refferred to as the Imperial Presidency. Several presidents were even impeached for abusing the executive powers. The executive branch is responsible for carrying out and enforcing laws. Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was president from 1933 to 1945, started the ongoing Imperial Presidency with his New Deal ideals for the purpose of helping the nation recover following the Great Depression. The New Deal deals with new laws on education, equality, etc.

Imperial Presidency is defined as a term referring to presidential powers exceeding the limitations of Article II. These powers mainly consist of both foreign policy and domestic policy. Foreign policy deals with other countries, while domestic policy deals with America’s internal issues. Prior to FDR’s presidency, the president of the United States possessed very limited power. The Imperial Presidency’s establishment indirectly led to the impeachment of Richard Nixon, who was president from 1969-1974. The idea of an Imperial President and it’s gained powers over time is what appealed to the Democratic party and its affiliates of support. Donald Trump’s powers believe that the Imperial Presidency is what led Trump to believe that he had a lot more power than the constitution said the executive officer should have, which in turn led him to picture himself has a king.

Andrew Johnson was officially impeached in 1868, making him the first president ever to face impeachment. Johnson was impeached for high crimes and misdeamenors for violating the Tenure of Office Act. The Tenure of Office Act basically stated that the President could not remove officials that Congress had already approved of. Johnson fired senator Edwin M. Stanton, and as a result, was faced with impeachment. He won his senate trial by a single vote, meaning he was able to finish his presidential term.

Several years later, United States President Richard M. Nixon risked impeachment, although he resigned from office before the trial could begin. President Nixon was caught up in the Watergate scandal in 1972. Nixon was paranoid by the upcoming presidencial election, so he hired spies called “plumbers” to bug the Watergate hotel. Unfortunately, one of the bugs was not working, and when the “plumbers” went in to fix it, they were caught by the Watergate hotel staff. President Nixon proceeded to have the “plumbers” lie about the affair under oath. During questioning, one of his hired workers broke down and the information gained eventually led back to Nixon. Richard Nixon resigned after realizing he was definetly going to be removed from office after the Watergate political scandal.

In December of 1998, Bill Clinton was impeached for purgury, or lying under oath, and obstruction of justice. After allegedly assaulting a woman, the woman testified against Clinton. Clinton denied having any sort of relationship with her, but that was eventually proven to be a false testimony. While Johnson broke a Congressional law, Bill Clinton broke the general law by lying under oath.

The impeachment clause in the US Constitution declares that the impeachable offenses are treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors. If a President seems unfit, the House of Representatives holds a trial. If over half the House of Representatives vote in favor, then the President is offically accused of the alleged crime. If not, then the President is in the clear. Likewise, the Senate will also hold a trial in cases of impeachment for the purpose of conviction. The Senate determines whether the President will remain in office or not.

To justify Trump’s impeachment, opposers argue that the president has abused his executive power. While the executive branch has most definetly gained a significant amount of power over the past couple decades, the President is still constitutionally unable to make decisions beyond those listed in Article II of the United States Constitution.

According to the Democratic political party, proof was found in the transcript between Trump and the Ukranian president.  In the transcript of the conversation between President Trump and Zelenskyy, Trump stated, “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosectution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great.” President Donald Trump reputedly used a foreign government-Ukraine-to influence an election. This factor may end up endanger national security which is considered to be treason.

After personally reading the phone recording and other documents, I have decided that the given documentation is not enough proof to accuse President Donald Trump of treason and bribery. Regardless of the fact that I support Democratic ideals, I believe that no one, not even President Trump, should be unfairly accused of a crime. There are plenty of people in prison at this very moment who are living out their lifes punished for a crime they did not commit. While impeachment is fairly different from imprisonment, the point still stands that it is immoral and unethical to punish someone without legimate proof.

Donald Trump was only impeached because of the feud between the Democrats and the Republicans, and the Democrats found a way to make the Republican party look bad. If President Trump was actually guilty of the crimes he supposedly commited, he would not have voluntarily released the documentation of the phone call to the general public. Like Nixon, he would have tried to cover up for it in any way possible. If this had happened to be the case, the whistleblowers would have discovered it and it would have been considered not only treason and high crimes and misdeamenors, but also obstruction of justice, or involving oneself in an investigation.