On Sept. 23, Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, announced she endorsed the opening of an impeachment inquiry into President Donald J. Trump. After months of House Democrats calling for impeachment of the 45th President, the Speaker was pulled into supporting impeachment only after seven “frontline Democrats” wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post calling for President Trump’s impeachment after his recent dealings with the Ukraine came to light. These “frontline Democrats” are representatives in toss up districts, or districts where there is no firm partisan lean, left or right. These at-risk Democrats have stayed away from impeachment talk out of fear of losing moderates in their district. These Democrats all happen to have deep backgrounds in national security positions, and it is believed that because of this, they have drawn the proverbial line in the sand and are now calling for impeachment. With the support of these more moderate Democrats, Speaker Pelosi feels more confident in moving forward with an impeachment inquiry.
So, what exactly is this impeachment inquiry? The inquiry for impeachment is simply a preliminary investigation of potential high-crimes and misdemeanors the President may have committed. Currently, the investigation has been limited to just the scope of recent allegations of back-handed dealings with the Ukraine. If this investigation yields evidence of crimes, then the Speaker will call a vote for impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives. If that vote passes in the House, the motion will then go to the Senate who will investigate further then hold a vote. If the Senate votes for impeachment, then President Trump will be removed from office.
There is precedent for this process in history. President Bill Clinton had articles of impeachment passed against him in the House of Representatives in 1998. The matter was then sent to the Senate where it was defeated, and President Clinton was acquitted.
Both parties have big motives and big spins on this issue. For the Democrats, it’s quite simple: get all of Trump’s misdeeds and dealings with Ukraine out on the table for the public to see. Potentially, these crimes may be severe enough for an impeachment vote to pass the House and, eventually, the Senate. For the GOP, this impeachment inquiry is just another way the Democrats have tried to get rid of President Trump and no real wrong has been committed beyond irresponsible language and behavior from the President.
In my opinion, the President has committed a multitude of high crimes that warrant removal from office. These crimes include many violations of the emolument’s clause, a constitutional clause which states no person serving in public office can accept gifts from foreign states without permission from Congress. Moreover, these crimes include information on Trump’s attempted dealings with Ukraine. Unfortunately, with a Republican-controlled Senate, it is extremely unlikely that impeachment gets farther than Majority-Leader Mitch McConnell’s doorstep. The Republicans, in my opinion, have let party loyalty and ideology blind them from rights and wrongs laid out in the constitution. The best thing to come from this on the Democratic side is that public perception of the President and the defending Republican party plummets far enough to carry the Democrats to win the White House and the Senate in 2020, a tough task to say the least.