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The Counter Opinion: Thoughts on impeachment proceedings

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U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that she will be moving forward with an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. The decision came after it was released that Trump may have sought help from the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, withholding money from the country until it agreed.

Trump has denied that this was the reason why he withheld the money and called the proceedings “presidential harassment” in a tweet. Ohio’s congressional delegation has had mixed reactions to the proceedings.

We asked our opinion writers about their thoughts on some of the Congress members’ comments about impeachment and what they think about the proceedings. Contributing are Bo Kuhn, a sophomore journalism major, Katie Nolan, a junior environmental studies major and Zach Richards, a sophomore education major.

 

Columbus-area Rep. Joyce Beatty said, “… reports of Trump’s repeated pressure on the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rival of a long-debunked claim represents his most serious offense to date.” Do you think this is an accurate statement?

Bo: While the Ukraine situation is a serious offense, the more than 20 sexual misconduct allegations against Trump are more pressing to me. I also think that moving forward, it would be a mistake for the impeachment process to focus on the Ukraine situation, instead of gathering all of the president’s many offenses.

Katie: At this point, there have been so many allegations against Trump that, if all are true, would easily classify Trump as the most seriously offensive U.S. president of all time. The amount of lies that Trump has been caught in is immense, and lying to the American public at such a frequency should make anyone want to impeach him. While not necessarily a list of impeachable offenses, it is evidence that the United States needs to get rid of Trump as president. 

Zach: I think we need to wait to see more information. We already know that Trump pressured the Ukrainian president into investigating his political opponent, and it’s alarming that Republicans are willing to defend this. However, without a clear quid pro quo, it seems that this offense is about as serious as when he allegedly attempted to get Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller. Both are blatantly corrupt acts that, to public knowledge, never actually amounted to much. Only if there was a quid pro quo, which there very well could have been, would I think of this as being above and beyond anything else he’s done in office.

 

Republican Sen. Rob Portman said in a tweet that “the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry will distract Congress from the bipartisan legislative work we should be doing to find solutions & deliver results for Americans.” Do you think this is an accurate statement?

Bo: This sentiment, while nice, is intended to obfuscate what Trump has done and is being used as a talking point to try to downplay the severity of the accusations being made. Much of the legislation that the American people need is not bipartisan — as little is in modern American politics — and would not make it through Congress. For example, Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnell has blocked voting in the past on legislation that a vast majority of the American people are in support of.

Katie: It is arguable that Congress has not been completing solid bipartisan legislation for a while. This impeachment process beginning is not making this happen. It is important no matter the party of the president to bring corruption within any administration to an end. 

Zach: I have a lot of respect for Rob Portman, but this statement alongside another one expressing concern over the president’s conduct, are clearly just meant to pick a middle road between actively defending a blatantly corrupt act and actually doing something about it. If for no other reason, this is inaccurate because Congress isn’t doing a lot of bipartisan legislative work anyway.

Do you think the House of Representatives has enough evidence to convince the Senate to proceed with removal?

Bo: It depends largely on whether or not the Democrats take their time and gather evidence from past incidents or press forward with only the Trump-Ukraine scandal. I think the latter option would be a horrible misstep on the part of the Democrats and could lead to a botched impeachment attempt. 

Katie: The Democrats need to get this right in order to be successful with this impeachment. There must be a clear and thorough investigation of every piece of corruption, not only the Ukraine scandal. This scandal has been listed as what has “broken the dam” regarding Trump’s previous debatable impeachable offenses. 

Zach: The Democrats need someone of credible standing to testify under oath or otherwise convincingly show that there was a quid pro quo involved in the Ukrainian call, as it wasn’t clear from the White House’s transcript whether or not there was one. If they can’t do that, then this whole impeachment process could backfire on the Democrats and give Trump a major talking point.

Please note that these views and opinions do not reflect those of The New Political.

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