Impeachment Inquiry Divides the Nation


In a random survey of 124 West Springfield High School Students, 81 said that the President should be impeached. 43 said that they believed that the President should be impeached.

Lauren Cincotta, News Editor

It has been almost three years of investigations, calls for impeachment, general turmoil, and new lows for the tradition of the Presidency. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has finally announced that there will be a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. In the past week, over two hundred democrats have announced their support for impeachment. Impeachment begins in the House of Representatives, when the judiciary committee introduces Articles of Impeachment against the President or federal judges. This is the act of impeaching, or formally charging these figures. The Constitution says that a President can be impeached on charges of treason, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors. However, there is no set definition of high crimes and misdemeanors in the Constitution, which can complicate any impeachment inquiry.  

Just having the House vote to impeach is not enough, Presidents Andrew Johnson and  Bill Clinton for example were impeached but were never were removed from office. The second step of impeachment is a trial in the senate, the reason Johnson and Clinton were never removed from office was the trial, they were never convicted by the senate. House Democrats are now claiming that President Trump committed an impeachable offense during a phone call with the President of Ukraine. 

A whistleblower report submitted to the justice department outlines the conversation between President Trump and the President of Ukraine. In this conversation, President Trump suggested that Ukraine reopen an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, his family and their ties to a Ukrainian company. This prompted concerns about the president prompting election interference as Biden is one of the top polling Democrats running against President Trump. Democratic house members have called the whistleblower to testify in front of Congress, though their identity will be protected. Other members of the president’s inner circle are also expected to be asked about the incident. 

As the investigation progresses, the President has repeatedly tweeted about the dangerous politics of impeachment. In a tweet he claimed that if his impeachment could lead to civil war. The divisive nature of impeachment is very real. In fact, the part reason democrats waited for so long to begin a formal impeachment inquiry is the risk associated with it. Removing an elected leader from office is a closely guarded power, given to the House to use only in extreme circumstances. This process is too important for the preservation of american democracy for weak partisan warfare.

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Though house speaker Nancy Pelosi has been criticized for her restraint, it actually makes sense to have waited this long. Only now has the president committed such egregiously unconstitutional offenses that a successful impeachment is possible. Impeachment is a power that cannot be used simply because one party does not agree with the current president’s politics. This is about the independence of american elections, and holding elected leaders, no matter how powerful, accountable when they violate the law. 

“This is about the independence of american elections, and holding elected leaders, no matter how powerful, accountable when they violate the law. ”

Senate Majority leader Mitch Mcconnell has said that if the House impeaches President Trump, he would have to have the trial in the Senate as it is required by the Constitution. There has been speculation over if the Republican-held Senate would vote to impeach the President. Throughout his time as president, Trump has been able to count on many members of the Republican Party to defend him, through every conflict and scandal. This sort of blind loyalty is dangerous, it has created a precedent that this president can do whatever he wants without ever fearing any accountability among those in his party. He has single handedly divided the country into two extreme groups, those who are with him and those who are not. 

He has put the nation’s two political parties at each other’s throats and is threatening that if lawmakers try to hold him accountable the country will endure a civil war. The time is now for members of the Republican Party to stand up for the ideals they profess. Our country has not been this divided in awhile. The best way for the country to heal is for lawmakers to get some perspective. Removing a president that has exposed flaring tensions in our country, and working to rebuild the nation into one of tolerance and accountability is a much better legacy for today’s  lawmakers than blindly supporting a disruptive president for partisan purposes.