• Sarah Sevener

Former President Trump Acquitted in Impeachment Trial

Over 232 years and 46 presidents elected, only three have faced impeachment. Specifically, Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump. But, President Trump is different. He faced not one, but two impeachments in his four-year term, a feat never been done before. To be impeached, a president must commit “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”, according to the constitution.

The process of impeachment is long, and was made intentionally difficult by the creators of the Constitution. First, the process begins in the House of Representatives with an impeachment inquiry - a reason to impeach the President. Then, if the House of Representatives finds the misdemeanor sufficient, the articles of impeachment are created, and are passed on to the full House for a vote. For Donald Trump, these articles are a series of tweets, phone calls, and speeches that incited a violent riot at the U.S. Capitol building. Just a majority of votes is needed to impeach a President. But, it doesn’t stop there. Lastly, the Senate impeachment trial begins. After extensive review, ⅔ of the Senate must find the President guilty to remove the POTUS from office. No impeached official has ever been removed. But, with the national security threat that Trump imposed on January 6th, this outcome could likely have been for him.

This trial is also unusual because President Biden has already been sworn in. Some may pose the question of, “Why bother? Isn’t that old news?” The answer is no. The effects of the domestic terrorisim shown by his supporters is long-lasting. By impeaching Trump, we are showing the future of our nation that this behavior is not acceptable, nor will it ever be. The incitement of insurrection by Trump and his supporters was sickening to watch. His actions put the lives of Capitol employees, the members of the House, and democracy at risk. As punishment for a proven impeachment, he would lose the chance to ever hold a public office again, and protect the country from this man who is unfit for office.

However, on Feb 13, Donald Trump was acquitted, meaning he was proved not guilty by the Senate. The vote fell just short of the two-thirds required, with 53 voting to convict, and 43 voting to acquit. These results show that Trump undoubtedly still holds power over the GOP Republicans. It is disheartening to see that these people chose their party over the greater good of the country. Trump took a vow to protect our country, and over years of hate speech and fanning the flame of white supremacy - more specifically referring to white supremacists as “good people” - the violent riot incited by his leadership should have been the final straw.

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