Feb. 5th, 2020 marks the date where President Donald Trump was officially acquitted of both articles of impeachment by the Senate.
For the first article of impeachment, abuse of power, only 48 senators out of 100 voted for impeachment and as for the second, obstruction of congress, only 47 out of 100 senators voted to convict him. In order to remove a President, at least 66 votes are needed. These results where unsurprising considering how each Senator, except for Senator Mitt Romney, voted along party lines.
The articles of impeachment were brought by the House Judiciary Committee and were later passed in the House of Representatives, where Democrats currently hold a majority.
The House Judiciary Committee originally started investigating the issue because of a phone call between Trump and Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy where Trump said he would withhold military aid unless Ukraine provided information about Hunter Biden, the son of presidential candidate Joe Biden, who had previously worked in Ukraine.
The phone call is an impeachable offense because Trump urged the Ukrainian President to look into the family member of a current presidential candidate. Trump even suspended $400 million in military aid pending Ukraine’s promise to investigate Joe Biden’s son. This is a clear example of soliciting foreign influence in an election, an action that clearly undermines the democratic process.
The Republicans ignored this evidence and spun the whole situation back on the Democrats and the media. In fact, Trump and his defense team have only claimed that the phone call was harmless and then made the whole situation seem like some sort of bipartisan witchhunt. This only furthered Trump’s agenda of claiming that the Democrats have been out to impeach him ever since he was elected. The Republican Senators and Trump supporters chose to ignore the evidence that the President used the power of his office to pressure Ukraine and are only focused on dividing America.
Another concerning aspect of this situation was Trump’s unwillingness to participate in the proceedings. From the beginning, Trump immediately attacked the whistleblower who reported his actions and the Democrats who started the investigation instead of trying to prove his innocence. If the President had a legitimate reason for the phone call with Ukraine and truly had nothing to hide then he should have refuted the claims with his own reasons and evidence.
To make matters worse, the only Republican who voted to convict Trump is now being blackballed by the Republican community. This just shows how Trump’s tweets and the current posture of the Republican party have created a hostile environment that forces Republican senators and Congressmen to vote along party lines or risk their political futures.
When violations of basic standards of democracy are alleged to have taken place, politicians must stop voting along party lines and start doing what is best for the country.