Trump’s Presidential Legacy Tarnished A History of Impeachment and Trump’s Impeachment Hearings
Impeachment is a serious political process. It occurs when Presidential impeachment proceedings are a rare commodity. In the history of the United States, President’s Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, are the only presidents who have been impeached and neither were forced to leave office. President Clinton’s impeachment was due to a cover-up of his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky during his time in office. In the end, he was 22 votes away from reaching the minimum number of votes necessary in the senate. While President Johnson’s impeachment occurred after disagreeing with the Republican-led House over the “rights of those who had been freed from slavery.” According to the senate, the articles of impeachment were all related to the Stanton event, where Johnson fired his secretary of war, Edwin Stanton for supporting the Republican-led House.
For impeachment to occur, a federal official or president must have committed a violation inscribed in the Constitution as “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” However, history indicates that political will is a key determinant in impeachment. If a President’s own party turn against him or enough members of Congress are willing to risk losing popular support through efforts to remove the President, than it’s far more likely the President will be impeached. However, in President Trump’s case, impeachment hearings have just ended and articles are still being drawn up so it’s too early to see if these factors will occur.
An impeachment inquiry was made in response to a phone call on July 25th where Trump asked Ukraine’s president for a “favor.” Before the phone call he had suspended nearly $400 million in U.S. military aid. Despite advisors urging Trump to release it because they needed it fend off the Russians, he refused. However, since then, Trump’s motives regarding this “favor” have been questioned. There is speculation that Trump wanted a “favor” for personal interests rather than national security and witnesses from the impeachment hearings only corroborate this.
From November 13th, 2019 to November 21st, 2019 Americans were tuned in to Trump’s impeachment hearings. U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, revealed that one of his staffers, David Holmes had overheard a phone call between Sondland and Trump the day after the call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that resulted in the impeachment inquiry. Holmes allegedly heard Trump ask Sondland about “the investigations” and in response Ambassador Sondland replied that ‘he’s gonna do it,’ and that Zelenskiy will do anything you ask him to.’’’ Trump allegedly wanted proof from Ukraine that politicians had tried to interfere with the 2016 presidential election in order to get Democrat Hillary Clinton elected and he also wanted them to look into Joe Biden’s work on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma. Other witnesses in the impeachment hearings prove this theory and the White House even released a summary of the call that caught Trump asking Ukraine for a “favor” and to investigate the Bidens. However, this contradicts the argument by Republicans that his “favor” was quid pro quo because the Ukrainians hadn’t known the aid was being held.
Since then, Trump has denied that he did anything wrong by making that phone call. In addition, Political campaigners aren’t allowed to use anything from a forgein national to support their case and the Justice Department has refused to investigate the case because it’s difficult to “quantify” what Trump would get from Ukraine in return. My parents and I listened to the impeachment hearings in the time our schedules allowed for. They believe this phone call questions Trump’s character, but they aren’t entirely sure if it will constitute impeachment. I agree with this and we will all be keeping up with the news for more information in the coming weeks.