Impeachment: One Person’s View


An October 10th PBS Poll that shows a majority of adults support the impeachment inquiry.

Liam Cole, Author

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several months, you have seen the controversy surrounding Washington DC, as the House of Representatives investigates whether or not to impeach President Trump. 

Whether you support the president or not, the undeniable truth is there has been controversy surrounding him since he was on the campaign trail. Now all of those controversies have added up into something that Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats believe to be a high crime or misdemeanor. 

If you’re not deeply involved in politics you might not know what the president is being accused of. Most people know about The Mueller Report but not the content of it. The president is not being accused of colluding with Russians but obstructing justice throughout the investigation. 

At this point in time, The Mueller Report conclusions are not the main focus of the House’s investigation. The president supposedly threatened to withhold funds and arms from the Ukraine, unless Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky started investigating Hunter Biden’s connections to a Ukranian company. 

Hunter Biden is the son of former Vice President Joe Biden – a political opponent of Donald Trump. Hunter Biden sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company called Burisma Holdings during a time when his father, while serving as vice president,  was negotiating with the Ukraininan Government. 

In a phone call with President Zelensky, Donald Trump asked him to open an investigation into Hunter Biden and subtly threatened to withhold arms and funds unless Zelensky complied. This quid pro quo – Latin for something for something, or a favor granted in exchange for something – is the center of the new investigation. 

President Trump has released the transcript of his infamous phone call with Zelensky where Hunter Biden was mentioned but foreign aid was not. Some senators, including Maine Senator Angus King, suggest that at least 20 minutes of the phone call was cut out of the released transcript.  

The president has vehemently denied that any quid pro quo ever happened, but those within his cabinet contradict him. The president’s Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, said in a press conference on October 17th that the quid pro quo happened and that people need to ‘get over it’. Mulvaney has since tried to walk back his comments but unfortunately for him, he can’t unsay what he said. 

Like any hot button topic in Washington, there are multiple sides of the story – the Republican version and the Democratic version.

According to the president and his Republican allies, the phone call with Zelensky happened but there was never any indication of quid pro quo. The President maintains the phone call was friendly and appropriate and that he asked Zelensky for information because it was of national interest, not to get dirt on his potential 2020 opponent. 

In the eyes of the Democrats, the president’s intention was to gain dirt on a political candidate and that not only is worthy of impeachment but that it is borderline treason. 

Many policymakers in Washington and people in general have already made up their minds about the president’s guilt or innocence without knowing the entirety of the story or even reading through the evidence. 

Speaker Pelosi has opened up an impeachment inquiry but she has not allowed the House to vote on inquiry. In the Speaker’s defense, she does not need to hold a vote but the president has said he will not cooperate with any investigation unless a vote is held. 

Because the nature of politics is so polarized, any vote to open an impeachment inquiry will be along party lines. Even though impeachment is a political process, Speaker Pelosi has stated she wants to make this investigation as bipartisan as possible.

Despite Republican push backs against impeachment, public support to impeach and remove the president have continued to rise. According to a recent CNN poll, support for impeachment has grown to 52% – an all-time high.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – or as he has dubbed himself, the Grim Reaper – will make sure that none of his Republicans vote to remove the president if it came to that.

McConnell said that he will allow a trial in the Senate after many speculated he would block that too. Two-thirds is needed to remove a sitting president and with a Republican controlled senate it will be very hard to get 67 votes.  

Another variable thrown into the whole equation is the upcoming presidential election. Many political pundits think that Nancy Pelosi should simply wait until the election and let the people remove Trump instead of dragging the country through impeachment. 

Impeachment is a long and slow process and the undeniable truth is that Pelosi is running out of time to impeach the president. The only other option would be to go through the trials and tribulations of impeachment while the president and Democratic nominee are on the campaign trail. 

The president has been egging Pelosi and the Democrats on because he believes that impeachment plays into his narrative that the whole system is against him and the Democrats are on a witch hunt that started the day he got elected. 

Like or dislike the president, the undeniable fact is that he made a poor decision during his phone call with Zelensky and he will end up having to face the consequences of them – whatever they may be.