On December 18, 2019, the House of Representatives approved articles of impeachment with charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, impeaching President Donald J. Trump. It accused Trump of withholding military aid to Ukraine until Ukrainian president Velensky investigated Joe Biden and it supported the idea that Ukraine was behind the interference in the 2016 election.
Opening arguments for the prosecution of President Trump led by Democrats lasted from January 22-24, while the defense was from 25-28. The prosecution mainly argued that Trump will continue to invite foreign interference to our elections, released email details about frozen aid to Ukraine, debunked the notion Ukraine, not Russia, interfered with the 2016 election, and asked the Senate to call for witnesses. The defense team’s primary arguments surrounded the lack of evidence and framed Democrats as using the impeachment to steal the 2020 election. They denied former national security advisor Bolton’s claim that Trump told him that he wanted to continue freezing the aid to Ukraine until they gave information about Bidens and attacked the Bidens and abuse of power is not an impeachable offense.
The questions and answers lasted for 16 hours on January 29th. Senators were to write down questions for either the prosecution, the defense, or both which Chief Justice Roberts read out loud. On January 31st, the Senate voted 51-49 against allowing subpoenas to introduce testimonies, which was fairly certain to happen.
Senate Republicans said they would reject the idea of voting to dismiss the articles of impeachment, regarding the trial as a sham, and they’ve followed through. Republicans run the Senate (53-47), making the chances of removal slim. Ending on February 5th, 52 Republicans voted against abuse of power and all 53 voted against the charge of obstruction of justice. Trump received a total acquittal on both impeachment articles since neither got the two-thirds majority and President Trump still remains in office. He says it was both calls to the Ukrainian president was perfect and Trump seems very content with his impeachment lawyers and the Senate decision.
By Amy Yao