So your President was impeached…

Sienna Philips, News Editor

Your president was impeached. Do you know what that means? 

On December 18, 2019, President Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives. What does this mean? 

What is impeachment? 

Contrary to what many believe, when somebody is impeached, this does not mean that he/she will be removed from office. It means that they have been accused of criminal action and will undergo an investigation, which will then prove whether he/she should be removed or not. 

Donald Trump is the third president to be impeached in United States history. The 17th US President, Andrew Johnson, was the first to be impeached. He had fired an official without the Senates permission, which breaches the Tenure of Office Act. The second President in U.S. history to be impeached was former President Bill Clinton. Clinton was impeached because he had lied under oath before the federal grand jury of the U.S. He was accused of perjury, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power. 

The two decisions in an impeachment trial are for the person to be removed from office or for them to be acquitted. Acquittal means the person charged of the crime is not guilty. If found not guilty, they will not be removed from office. 

Why is Trump being impeached? 

The House of Representatives accused President Trump of two criminal actions. 

The first accusation was that Trump withheld aid from Ukraine in order to get help from them for the election this November. Trump allegedly withheld millions of dollars in military aid from Ukraine. He was said to be doing this to pressure Ukraine’s president into digging up information on a leading Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden. Trump believes that Biden was also abusing his own power as a major political figure to get his son, Hunter Biden, a job at a Ukrainian energy company. Ultimately, the charge on this case was an abuse of power. 

“I think it hurt Joe Biden’s chances of getting the democratic nomination because people now associate him with his son and the Ukraine,” said Natalie Mcdowell, AP and Dual Enrollment History teacher. 

Secondly, Trump was accused of obstructing Congress because White House staff were restricted from testifying at the trial last year. This charge was an obstruction of justice. 

What happens now? 

On February 5, 2020, the Senate held a vote and decided to acquit Trump with a vote of 53-47. This means that 53 out of the 100 members of the Senate voted to keep President Trump in office, while 47 of them voted for him to be removed.  

Now Trump can prepare for this November in hopes of his re-election. 

“I think the people that supported the president still support the president. However, I think it has made people more aware. I have heard a lot more talk about the upcoming election than in 2016 because so much publicity has been focused on what happened with the impeachment,” said McDowell. 

Even though Trump was not removed from office, some believe the impeachment process still had effect on the upcoming election.  

“I think more people are paying attention to local and state politics, which is a good thing,” stated McDowell. 

You would think everything is good, but health care prices are too high, and wage increases are too slow. ”

— Nancy Pelosi, Chicago Tribune

Since the end of the impeachment process, Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, has been trying to push other factors of Trump’s presidency to put a roadblock in his campaign for re-election.  

Other than his impeachment, Pelosi is pushing that the economy in the United States isn’t as good as the president says it is—hoping that maybe this will move the needle a little more. 

There is currently only one Republican candidate running against President Trump—William Weld—but it has been expressed that there is “no real competition” for him.