By Rachelle Barrett
The American people and politics hold an incredibly complex love-hate relationship with each other. And this already intense affair jumped to semi-deadly levels with former president Trump’s highly controversial administration in office 2016-2020.
Representing what Mr. Trump represented also simultaneously created a jump in the people’s overall focus on politics as well. However, not everyone is a political genius. In fact, according to a social study presented in The New York Times on October 20, 2020, 80-85% of Americans nonchalantly follow politics, that is if they do at all. The rest of the 15-20% of Americans strictly follow politics. A calculation by Gallup, a website that follows statistical politics, lists that only 49% of Americans who are 55 years of age and up follow politics, with the numbers lowering as the ages do.
And with the question “Trump was impeached, so why is he still in office?” circulating many conversations, it is assumed that the idea of Impeachment is a blurred one.
To make things clear, the reason why removing an official from office is a difficult feat is due to how the American governing system was first created. As we know, when the United States, formerly known as the  colonies, severed its ties to the highly abusive power of Great Britain, the colonies sought to create their own Constitution with laws differing from what they deemed unjust. Instead of a monarchy, a rule determined from kingship/queenship where a rule is passed down to descendants, The Colonies adopted a democracy, a government with many participants and elected members. In order to make removing an official difficult but of course not impossible, to avoid tyranny, the two-step process towards impeaching and officially removing a member from office was implemented.
So, What Is Impeachment?
By definition, to impeach an office official means to accuse said official of misdemeanor actions against their state. Actions such as perjury, treason, bribery, and other serious crimes that can seriously put that state and its people in danger. And those accusations, accompanied by an investigation, are then pursued in that state’s high courts.
Impeachment isn’t the only process to remove someone from office, it is merely part of a two-step process. It’s a charge, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that charge will ultimately kick that official out of office, especially if the official is acquitted in court.
For example, former President Andrew Johnson was impeached for violating the Tenure of Office Act of 1867, which forbade him from attempting to remove Secretary of War Edwin Stanton without the permission or approval of the Senate. A power that is held by both the Head of State and The Senate in attempts to avoid corruption by one figure. He was impeached in 1868 but acquitted by one vote, leading to him staying in office. Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 on perjury charges. Specifically relating to him condemning his status as a truthful official by lying about his affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. President Clinton was acquitted by 55 votes.
Former President Trump’s Impeachment
Former President Donald Trump will go down in history as the first president to be impeached twice during one term, amongst other things.
Trump’s First Impeachment
Trump’s Impeachment charges were based on accusations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. These accusations came to light after the rumor of Trump’s involvement in foreign interference in his presidential re-election campaign. He also hampered the investigation by ordering officials to dismiss and disregard certain subpoenas regarding certain testimonies against him. Both being high crimes against the state, showing acts of tyranny and deception against the state and its people.
According to resources, Trump set up meetings with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, in order to ask the foreign head of state for help in creating or unraveling damning information against the new president-elect, and at the time of Trump’s first impeachment democratic candidate Joe Biden, as well as to fabricate information about Ukraisn involvement in Trump’s 2016 election, rather than Russia, as many believe to have also taken place five years ago. Thanks to witness Alexander Vindmand, who informed the congress of Trump’s acts of illegal foreign influences within the election, Trump’s first impeachment was set into motion.
After much deliberation, reports, and articles being turned in the House, and witnesses from congressional committees, the impeachment was underway. However, when the trial began, there were no witnesses nor any forms of documents that were introduced due to The Senate’s refusal to accept them into the court. Trump was later acquitted on both counts, the abuse of power gaining a 52 vote count for acquittal, and the obstruction of Congress vote count being 53. If what took place in the courts wasn’t suspicious enough, Trump then later fired two witnesses after his acquittal.
Trump’s Second Impeachment
Being as this past U.S. election was one of the most-watched televised elections since democratic candidate and former President Barack Obama and Republican candidate John McCain elections in ‘08, The Trump v. Biden race to 270 in late 2020, a year that already brought much misfortune to the world, was highly intense. There were also acts of violence by extremists republican groups and white supremacists in attempts to alter, derail, and/or stop the election count. After the election was confirmed as a democratic win with Joe Biden as the United States’ new presidential elect, the unthinkable happened.
On January 6th, 2020, a terrorist attack by the countries Qanon, white supremacists, the Proud Boys, and other ridiculously named hate groups came together in Washington D.C. and stormed the United States’ highly secured and restricted capital. The rioters’ goal was later suspected to have been a seize and capture mission, hoping to stop the ballot count of the election, as well as hoping to obstruct the ballots themselves. Some claims of murder against the capitol officials, new-elect
President Biden, new-elect Vice President Kamal Harris, congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, and many others have also been reported.
With the attack lasting all day, the capital suffered vandalism and was trashed, with the building ending with broken windows, and many of the official’s belongings being ruined, damaged or stolen. Many were injured, including some of the security guards and police officers who stood on the front lines as the attackers broke their way in. four rioters ultimately died, and a police officer died as well.
Many laws were broken, and this was all due to President Trump inciting the attack. No matter the extent of his words, Trump invited those people to the white house to protest the count. Hence, these actions were his fault.
Other points that were made clear during his misdemeanor investigation were that he falsely claimed that he won the election, that he indeed hadn’t won. He’d also been attempting to actively overturn Biden’s win in states that turned blue, appealing and urging recounts. But these are minor offenses compared to the riot he incited. As a result of the deadly terrorist attack, all 222 of the House’s Democrats voted to impeach Trump. Ten House Republicans also voted to impeach Trump. Record-breaking numbers.
As stated by Representative Liz Cheney (Wyo):
“The president of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,”
“There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
As of now, Trump’s impeachment trial has been set for February 8th, pushed back 2 weeks by Senate Republican Mitch McConnell to give Trump a chance to review his case.