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Unless you live many miles under a huge, sound-proof rock, you’ve probably heard that an impeachment inquiry has been initiated against Trump. The process of impeachment, as well as the reason for Trump’s possible impeachment, is hard to follow. To many, it’s pretty astounding that Trump has yet to be impeached by his third year of making frequent blunders and spewing hateful rhetoric. But alas, the day has arrived and perhaps Trump’s time has come. On Tuesday, September 24th, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would begin an impeachment inquiry against Trump. Before getting into the nitty gritty of why now, let me fill you in more generally about the very confusing impeachment process. 

 

In US history, there have only been two presidential impeachment trials. The first was against President Andrew Johnson in 1868, and the second against President Bill Clinton in 1998. Possible offenses that could prompt impeachment are treason, bribery, and “other high crimes and misdemeanors,” as outlined in Article II of the U.S. Constitution. The impeachment process begins in the House of Representatives, where a vote is conducted. All that is required for impeachment to take place is a simple majority vote in the House. However, being impeached does not necessarily mean the president is removed from office. The Senate, after the House votes, acts as a court for the impeachment trial. The Senate ultimately decides, by a 2/3rds vote, whether the decision of the House will stand. If 2/3rds of the Senate rules in favor of impeachment, only then is the president officially removed from office. Essentially, the president is accused of the crime in the House and convicted in the Senate. 

 

So, what is the reasoning behind the House beginning an impeachment investigation? As Nancy Pelosi put it, Trump’s conduct exemplifies his “betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.” This whole scandal is being called “the whistleblower complaint” because an anonymous government employee, aka the whistleblower, filed a complaint in August about Trump requesting a foreign country to interfere in the 2020 presidential election. Essentially, Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to open a corruption investigation against Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. In 2014, Hunter Biden was on the board of the largest natural gas company in Ukraine, Burisma Holdings. Biden had no previous experience in the natural gas industry, and it’s believed that he was being paid large sums of money to act on the board and bring a reputable, famous name to their company. Allegedly, Trump requested that the president of Ukraine look into this, as well as Joe Biden’s firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor. In a nutshell, Trump seems like he was asking a foreign nation to interfere in domestic politics and harm Joe Biden’s chances in the 2020 election. 

 

This is merely the “sparknotes” version of the Trump impeachment case, as there are many more details to this story. However, it is important to stay ~informed~ on this big moment in American history. The next possible step is the House deciding to move forward with a vote on Trump’s impeachment, which will happen if they find enough condemning evidence in their investigation. To learn more about the impeachment process and to stay updated on the latest in the Trump case, visit: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/05/us/politics/trump-impeachment-news.html

Olivia is a sophomore at Colby College and is a Government major and Sociology minor. Olivia loves her hometown, ~historic~ Concord, Massachusetts, and is a pro scooper at the local ice cream store (her favorite flavor is coffee oreo). She was once an avid horse girl, is currently an avid fan of the Bachelor, and loves the "Star is Born" soundtrack. She loves to travel (esp. to Europe), but unfortunately is afraid of flying (she has embarrassingly fainted on multiple flights). She is the eldest sibling yet is constantly looking to her twelve year old sister for wisdom and advice. After graduation, Olivia hopes to live in an apartment in Boston with friends, spend too much money at restaurants, and become a better Boston sports fan. :-)
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