Impeachment discussions hint end of Trump era


Diana Sherbs, Coast Guard Compass

President Donald Trump, pictured holding his right hand over his heart to respect the American flag. Trump was investigated to see if he was eligible to be impeached and removed from the presidency.

Alex Burbidge, Reporter

After nearly three years of relentless attempts, the Democratic Party may finally get their wish; an official inquiry for impeachment has been opened against President Donald Trump.

Led by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the inquiry was sparked after a whistleblower published a report of President Trump’s supposed abuse of power, specifically in regard to his pressuring the Government of Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden, 2020 presidential candidate. A transcript of the phone call between the president and Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, was released by the White House and confirmed that “[looking] into Biden” was a topic of discussion.

On Oct. 29, a resolution was reached by the House Democrats determining how the public phase of the inquiry would run. Despite all the talk of impeachment, Pelosi claims that her group has not committed to impeachment, but said she has “had enough for a very long time” and that they “might as well get some more” during a meeting with the House Intelligence Committee.

Should the impeachment go through, Trump would be the fourth sitting president to be impeached. Of the three prior presidents (Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton), none have been removed from office, although Nixon surely would have been had he not resigned the position before the process could be completed.

To get to an impeachment case, the House of Representatives must pass the articles of impeachment by a majority vote. The Senate would then try the president in court with the Chief Justice of the United States presiding, and if the Senate should find him guilty by a two-thirds majority, Trump would be removed from office. An added dynamic to this process is that the House of Representatives has a majority of its seats filled by Democrats (235-197), while the Senate is mostly Republican (53-47).

Additionally, Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, has suggested that the Senate essentially just ignore the call for impeachment, assuming it does get that far. This has opened debate as to whether the Consitution of the United States allows for such action. 

If the impeachment does go through and Trump is indeed removed from office, incumbent Vice President Mike Pence would take his position, per the 25th Amendment. The Democrats would likely try to impeach Pence as well, leaving the presidency to Pelosi, the current Speaker of the House and head of the impeachment inquiry.