On Dec. 10, two articles of impeachment were announced against President Donald Trump regarding the possibility of his abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The House of Representatives has finalized the investigation process and now it is up to the House to hold a vote and have a senate trial to determine whether or not to impeach President Trump.
The first article of impeachment suggests that Trump abused his power by encouraging a Ukrainian investigation. The basic claim against President Trump is that he was withholding military aid to Ukraine unless Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky would agree to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. An unnamed whistleblower filed a complaint on Aug. 12, accusing Trump of pressuring President Zelensky into finding damaging information on Hunter Biden which could possibly assist President Trump if he runs against Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. Trump is being investigated in order to determine if he wanted Zelensky to help him boost his re-election chances.
In the beginning, the American public was presented with the transcripts from the thirty-minute telephone call between Trump and Zelensky that took place on July 25. Within the transcript, President Trump asks Zelensky to “do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.” To many Americans, this was interpreted as President Trump encouraging Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden.
Asking foreign entities to interfere in a US election is illegal. In fact, according to the Federal Election Commission, non-U.S. citizens are barred from providing candidates any “thing of value” in connection with an American election campaign. Therefore, if it is true that President Trump was asking President Zelensky, a foreign leader, to investigate a political rival’s son so President Trump could use the investigation for campaigning purposes, then that would be a crime. The greater question surrounding the impeachment inquiry is clarifying the Constitutional principle of the Rule of Law, which means that no one, not even the president, is above the law.
The second article of impeachment alleges that Trump obstructed Congress by refusing to cooperate with the House of investigation and ignoring subpoenas as well, directly contradicting Rule of Law.
Subsequently, few witnesses have volunteered or responded to subpoenas to offer first-hand information regarding this situation. However, numerous witnesses who have first-hand knowledge of the relationship between Ukraine and the United States have testified and have provided some first-hand accounts of statements made by White House officials, other than President Trump. All of the witnesses who have testified have stated that President Trump was not worried about political corruption in Ukraine, President Trump’s defense as to why he withheld military aid to Ukraine. On Thursday, Nov. 21, David Holmes, a counselor for political affairs at the U.S. embassy, testified that Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, agreed that Trump ”only cared about the big stuff,” which appears to be investigating the Bidens. Regardless of the testimony provided to date, there are many members of Congress who do not think the President should be impeached based on the information provided.
The entire impeachment hearings demonstrate that Trump believes that his role as president makes him above the law. However, the Founding Fathers were very clear regarding their concerns that a President may use his position as president to gain politically or economically. This makes sense since the President is in a unique position, one only he has, that would allow him to benefit from being president.
The president's job is to serve and protect the people of America and not himself. I believe that Trump was fully aware that what he was asking President Zelensky to do was only in the interest of his personal goals and not something that would be of benefit to the United States as a whole. President Trump’s request is not part of his presidential powers as he was merely attempting to boost his re-election status, yet he disregarded this.
Impeachment polls are being taken on a variety of platforms. On Oct. 6, CNN reported that 50 percent of voters believe President Trump should be impeached and removed while 43 percent say no to impeachment. Furthermore, according to a Fox News poll, a news station very favorable to President Trump, found that more than half of U.S. voters want Trump impeached and out of office. Several organizations have launched online petitions and polls such as “impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org” to add names calling for the impeachment of President Trump “for violating the U.S. Constitution.” These organizations are urging viewers to join the group of supporters of the impeachment, and viewers are given the chance to contact local representatives as well. As an American citizen, the ability to take a stand is in your hands.