• bea butterworth

Trump's Impeachment- What Does it all Mean?

So Donald Trump has been impeached after 3 years in office due to 'an obstruction of justice'. Confused? Me too.

What is impeachment? No, we're not about to start throwing fruit at the white house. Trump is the third US president (out of 45) to be impeached (excluding Richard Nixon, who resigned shortly before he could be voted out of office in 1974). Impeachment works as a last resort remedy and although it is commonly used to mean removing someone from office, but it actually refers only to the filing of formal charges. Sadly, this can't just come along because you don't like a guy- there has to be questionable or dangerous actions for a president to be impeached. Even then, there's no guarantee the person will be removed from office.

In America there are two parts to Congress (the American version of our Parliament). There is The House of Representatives and The Senate. The Impeachment process begins in the House of Representatives and if they decide there is a case to be answered, it moves to The Senate for the impeachment trial. Any Federal (national) official can be impeached not just the President. After the impeachment trial the defendent can be removed from office and they could face a trial for any criminal actions in the U.S. courts thereafter.

Why has trump been impeached? Trump was impeached for using government resources (the FBI) to find out discrediting information about Joe Biden, Trump's rival in the upcoming election.

The outcomes of impeachment are dangerous to say the least. One unlikely scenario was that Trump might resign however because Trump is a Republican and there is a majority of Republican Senators it became obvious from teh outset that Trump was not likely to resign. In fact in the end all of the Republican Senators bar one Mitt Romney voted in Trump's favour and the impeachment charges were dismissed. The worrying part in all this is that The Senate voted against hearing from witnesses or looking at evidence which made the whole Impeachment Trial of Trump a farce. What kind of trial does not hear from witnesses and does not look at evidence? So as this edition goes live, Trump has survived the Impeachment and seems in a strong position. Other than having no idea what Trump will do if re elected the public can fear this outcome for the message it sends. If the American public dismisses Trump's wrongs it implies that his behaviour is acceptable, it lowers the power of the constitution and eases the path for future 'controversial' presidents.

Ultimately in my opinion the current popularity of Trump and the unwillingness of Congress to tackle his "high crimes and misdemeanors" sadly teaches that there is nothing limiting about a lack of integrity in American Politics. I sincerely hope that Trump's actions such as the banning of trans soldiers from service and his speeches on immigration do not inspire other old white men with similar outdated views to introduce further restrictive laws because the checks on the power of the President seem to have little or no effect on his popularity and power!


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