Current Events

Impeachment: How Partisan?

With the new year underway, news of President Trump’s impeachment has been the most recent talk among politicians and people around the globe. As a recap, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump due to his alleged foreign interference for his re-election bid in 2020. He then obstructed the investigation regarding that interference. Republicans were of course not pleased with the results and made the argument that Democrats had been looking to impeach the President since he first took office and merely used the Ukraine scandal as a way to achieve that goal. However, a recent comment by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has sparked a new wave of controversy. He stated that the Democratic party has let it’s “partisan rage” create a “toxic precedent that will echo into the future.” Whether or not you agree with the extent to which McConnell goes in his words, there is no doubt that the impeachment process was motivated by partisanship. 

 

President Trump was impeached on two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Two Democrats voted against the abuse of power article and three voted against his obstruction of congress. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic presidential candidate for 2020, voted “present” on both articles of impeachment. She argued that the impeachment would only “further embolden him, strengthen his support, make it more likely that he will gain in that support […].” Her stance was strong and the majority of Gabbard’s supporters seem to be in agreement with her decision. In a sharp contrast, not a single House Republican voted for impeachment. There were numerous testimonials of officials and evidence collected during the impeachment trial supporting a claim that Trump abused his power for political gain. House Republicans rejected most of these testimonials and insisted that the Trump administration did not try to force the Ukrainian government to investigate their opponents but also kept suggesting that Ukraine in fact interfered in the 2016 election to hurt Trump’s chances of winning a presidential election. In the end, American’s views of President Trump and congress hasn’t changed due to the impeachment process and that was reflected in how the House has voted. Neither the president’s approval nor disapproval ratings have shown a sharp change after the impeachment. 

 

Republicans make up the majority in the Senate and have a 53 to 47 advantage. 67 votes will be required to pass the article of impeachment there and doesn’t look likely as of now. While there’s a possibility that there may be a few Republican senators who find the President’s actions inappropriate, it is more likely that none of the Republican Senators will find Trump’s actions impeachable. This vast difference in opinion among lawmakers in Washington goes to show how the country has clearly been divided over the impeachment trial and process. Whatever the outcome, we can all agree on the fact that it was and will be a solemn day for President Trump and the whole nation.

 

By Aarushi Vyas

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