3rd POTUS Impeached: Trump Finally Held Accountable

President Trump has officially been impeached by the House. While he may be acquitted in the Senate, impeachment is a stain on his legacy he can't wipe off.
Nancy Pelosi confronts Donald Trump in the White House on October 16, 2019. (Source: @realDonaldTrump/White House Photo)

Nancy Pelosi confronts Donald Trump in the White House on October 16, 2019. (Source: @realDonaldTrump/White House Photo)

On Wednesday evening, December 18, 2019, President Trump secured his legacy. This will be etched into history and mentioned every time he is: Donald J. Trump was the 45th President of the United States and the 3rd to be impeached in the House of Representatives.

After debating and subsequently voting on the rules from the House Rules Committee throughout the morning, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), whose patience and strategic maneuvering made impeachment possible, delivered a speech on the House floor. This kicked off 6 hours of debate. By 8:52 pm the full House of Representatives passed both articles of impeachment against President Trump, Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress. The Abuse of Power article passed the House by a 230 – 197 margin with one present vote. The Obstruction of Congress article passed by a 229 – 198 margin and one present vote. Democrats drew a line in the sand and declared that President Trump’s conduct was unacceptable.

This impeachment puts President Trump among the ranks of President Andrew Johnson, President Bill Clinton, and President Richard Nixon. Unlike Johnson and Clinton, Nixon avoided a full House vote on impeachment by resigning. Although President Trump’s obstruction has followed in the footsteps of Nixon, he will not go as far as to resign.

Pelosi has said she won’t hand over the articles to the Senate for a trial just yet until she sees the process, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is coordinating with the White House. In spite of the fact Senate Republicans must take an oath to be impartial jurors in an impeachment trial, McConnell and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have indicated they will not be impartial jurors.

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In the House floor debate today, the differences between the Democratic and Republican speeches could not have been starker. While Democrats brought forth evidence of President Trump’s Ukraine extortion plot and carried the weight of history, Republicans brought forth nothing but process complaints, gaslighting, and outright lies.

For the most part, Republican arguments were very predictable. The false narratives they repeated have been debunked time and time again. There were a few strange new defenses. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) went on the House floor and said that Jesus Christ was given more due process rights than Donald Trump. Comparing Trump to Jesus was bad enough, but Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) decided to one-up Loudermilk by claiming like Pearl Harbor, this day will live in infamy.

Republicans fell on the sword and put their reputation, career, and place in history on the line for a corrupt President who would turn on them in the blink of an eye if the roles were reversed. Democrats, on the other hand, presented arguments for impeachment that the Founding Fathers intended. They also dove into the uncontested facts of President Trump’s effort to subvert American democracy.

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President Trump attempted to extort foreign election interference from the Ukrainian government in the form of investigations into his political targets. In furtherance of this scheme, President Trump deployed multiple allies, in and outside his administration, to pressure Ukraine to launch the investigations into the Bidens and the Russia-created Ukraine meddling conspiracy theory.

At the core of this extortion campaign was the fact the Trump Administration withheld $391 in military aid and a White House meeting from Ukraine, and it was explicitly made clear to Ukraine that they needed to launch the probes in order to receive either. After President Trump was made aware of the existence of the whistleblower complaint regarding his July 25 phone call with President Zelensky, and the House launched their investigation, Trump released the aid on September 11. Ukraine has still not obtained a White House meeting with President Trump and Rudy Giuliani is still pursuing dirt on Democrats in Ukraine.

When this moment is studied, the facts of Trump’s Ukraine extortion plot, and overall corrupt presidency, will be unmistakable in the print of textbooks. The GOP’s spin and lies, on the other hand, will fall apart in the objective eyes of history.

Opinion // Donald Trump / House Democrats / House Republicans / Impeachment / Nancy Pelosi