Understanding the Impeachment of Donald Trump

Updated on January 21, 2020

This Is a Permanent Record

Now that the House portion of Congress has impeached Donald Trump, there is nothing the Senate can do to erase it. The previous presidents who were impeached, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, suffered the same fate. Whenever you hear the word "impeachment," their names always come up in the discussion. You can now add Donald Trump to that list.

The Senate trial that is about to happen will only decide if Trump should be removed from office. You will hear the terms "convicted" and "acquitted" during the trial. The meanings of these terms are easy to understand. If convicted, Trump will probably be removed from office. If acquitted, he will be allowed to stay in office, but it will be like he is on probation. So the Senate trial is basically a sentencing phase. As with Clinton and Johnson, the Senate voted to acquit these presidents and they remained in office. Trump can only hope for the same fate.

A Constitutional Duty

It is now up to the Senate to do what is their Constitutional duty and fairly judge the evidence against Trump. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already tipped his hand by saying he was working with the White House to set the rules for the trial in order to favor Trump. This does not align with his duties or the oath to which he is sworn to be impartial. You also have several Republican senators who have publicly stated that they will not listen to any more evidence and have already decided to acquit Trump.

They also have stated that they did not want to hear any more witness testimony. That presents a major problem as new developments have emerged since Trump was impeached. It also raises the question of why they don't want to hear from witnesses since no Senate impeachment trial on any level has not heard from witnesses.

As I stated earlier, this is similar to a sentencing phase in a criminal trial. Even after all of the evidence has been presented in a criminal trial, witnesses are always called in the sentencing phase to testify to the character of the defendant being sentenced. So the Republicans' argument that only the evidence presented in the House trial should be used is lame.

Bolton, Parnas, and Nunes: More Evidence

While it took several weeks for Nancy Pelosi to deliver the Articles of Impeachment, more information has emerged. The risk she faced for delaying sending over the Articles of Impeachment is starting to pay off. Witnesses are now willing to testify and they have a lot to say. Meanwhile, Trump has no one who is willing to step up and exonerate him.

One of those potential witnesses is former National Security Advisor to the Trump Administration John Bolton. During the House trial, the Republicans claimed that no one who had direct contact with Trump was called as a witness. That was because Trump refused to let any of them testify. Since Bolton no longer works in the White House, he has stated that he would be open to testifying if subpoenaed by the Senate.

Another is Rudy Giuliani's associate Lev Parnas, who has come out publicly naming the people who are involved in the political investigation into Hunter Biden. He has recently appeared on several news shows naming Trump, Mike Pence, William Barr, and Devin Nunes as participants in the illegal Ukraine quid pro quo affair.

While the Republicans have been saying all during the House trial, which Nunes sat in on as head of the minority party, that no crime had been committed, it has been confirmed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that Trump committed a crime by withholding the aid that had already been appropriated to the Ukraine by Congress, no matter what reason he comes up with. In other words, he broke the law.

Meanwhile, Nunes has now admitted he talked to Parnas on his personal cell phone, not his official government-issued Congressional office phone. Phone records show he had talked to Parnas at least ten times within the last year. Parnas has also stated that he and Giuliani were directly involved in having Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch removed from office so that they could investigate Joe Biden and his son. By the way, that investigation had already taken place while Biden was in office and no wrongdoing was found.

It is quite ironic that Nunes accused Adam Schiff of wrongdoing and withholding the identity of the whistleblower during the House trial while sitting right next to him. This explains why Schiff was so adamant about protecting the identity of the whistleblower from Nunes. That person might not be alive today if Nunes had found out who they are.

Here Comes the Judge

For me, the biggest unknown is the role of Chief Justice John Roberts in this investigation. Is he there just to listen to both sides, or will he be able to make rulings such as allowing or forcing witnesses to appear? Is he a figurehead or will he have a voice in the proceedings?

We have not heard enough about the role he will play because all we know is that McConnell will set the rules. What if the rules set by McConnell are unconstitutional? We have never had an impeachment trial with no witness testimony. That will certainly be challenged. I'm sure he has heard some Republicans say that their minds have already been made up. How does he feel about that?

Will he allow documents that were withheld in the House trial to be presented or subpoenaed? All of this will be a big part of the seriousness of this hearing. All of this will play a big role in the outcome of the hearings. I can't wait to see how this turns out.

Public Response

In the years that Trump has held office, the opinion of him has never changed on either side. His supporters will never admit he has done anything wrong. His opponents know he is nothing but an immoral criminal who lies daily and has no respect for the office he holds.

Like all presidents, Trump has done some good and deserves credit for what he has accomplished. He might have been a great president if not for all of the bad he has done to offset the good. His obsession with President Obama is his main downfall. Despite all of the bad he has done, his biggest problem is the Republican members of Congress condone every bad thing he does.

Never in my lifetime have I seen a president that didn't have any opposition within his own party on any issue. Ok well maybe he had one in John McCain who voted against killing the Affordable Care Act. Maybe he had some who opposed his building a wall on the Mexican border. Maybe there were a couple who were mad at his attack on Iranian General Soleimani.

These few examples should be enough for the Republicans to not be scared of standing up to this wanna be tyrant. Trump might even act like a president if someone besides Nancy Pelosi would stand up to him. Therefore, no matter the outcome of the Senate trial, it is up to the American people to pay close attention to the enablers and make sure they do not serve another term in our government come November.

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