Editorial: Donald Trump Makes History Once Again…He’s Impeached

The following editorial is the viewpoint of the writer only and does not reflect the opinions of the Cat’s Eye View staff, as a whole, or the administration, faculty or students of Henry P. Becton Regional High School


Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

President Donald J. Trump & Senator Rick Scott, R-Fla. receive a briefing on Hurricane Dorian, Aug. 31, 2019

Noelia Moore, Editor-in-Chief

As of December 18th, President Donald Trump made history in becoming the third US president ever to officially be impeached. While this has been a prominent topic throughout the country over the past few months, many students, even those of the voting age, are unfamiliar with what this historic event holds. Below is a guide explaining the basic aspects of the impeachment that high schoolers should know about, and answers to any questions they may have been wondering.

So…what does ‘impeachment’ even mean? 

Impeachment is the process in which a president is charged with a crime or misconduct against the country they represent. Only two other presidents have been formally impeached, Andrew Johnson in 1868, and Bill Clinton in 1998. If you’re thinking, “Um, I’m pretty sure you’re missing one,” Richard Nixon was set to be impeached in 1974, but resigned before the House of Representatives (HOR) cast their votes.

How did he get impeached? 

The House voted yesterday on Articles I and II of the impeachment charges against Trump, with a 230:197 majority vote agreeing with the first article, and a 229:198 majority agreeing with the second. The first stated that the president had abused his power by “[soliciting] the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States Presidential election,” while the second claimed that hehas directed the unprecedented, categorical, and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives pursuant to its ‘sole Power of Impeachment’,” according to the official report from Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-NY. 

How did it start? 

Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi opened the impeachment inquiry on September 24. The on-going case had been building since July when Trump was accused of initiating a quid-pro-quo, a favor granted in exchange for one in return, over the phone between him and the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. The two articles of impeachment, or arguments in favor of the event, were approved by the House Judiciary Committee on December 13 to be voted upon by the HOR. 

Why is he impeached?

The case began when a former CIA agent, acting as a whistleblower (someone who reports on another participating in unlawful misconduct), anonymously wrote a letter in August detailing the call between Trump and Zelensky. According to a transcript of said call, Trump urged Ukraine to “look into” 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who worked for the Ukranian natural gas producer Burisma Holdings from 2014 to 2019. Many believe that the president hoped to gain some detrimental information on Biden to use to his advantage in the upcoming election. 

What were the arguments for and against him?

 Republicans supporting Trump claim that a quid-pro-quo was not in effect, as they claim President Zelensky felt “no pressure” from the president to engage in such dealings. The president’s supporters also rebutted that due to the fact that Ukranians were unaware of their federal aid being withheld in the first place, and that the country received their money after all, Trump was in the clear. Democrats argued that Trump had taken advantage of his position by coercing other countries to meet his demands or suffer. Putting not just his victim’s country at risk, but the entire US as well. 

So, he’s out of office…right?

Wrong, and whether you’re over the moon or down in the dumps regarding this news, we’re not judging. A common misconception about impeachment is that once a president is impeached, they are convicted and removed from office immediately, but there is another step leading up to this. Now that the House of Representatives has voted against Trump, it is up to the Senate and a two-thirds majority vote against the president. This means that out of the 100 senate members, 67 of them must vote for him to surrender his position. 

What happens now?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will announce the date of the Senate’s trial towards the end of this week, which is expected to be in January.