Flynn_editorialOct.1

In the 243 years that the United States of America has existed, only three times has the House of Representatives adopted articles of impeachment against a sitting president: Andrew Johnson in 1868, Richard Nixon in 1974 and Bill Clinton in 1998.

When the Founding Fathers designed the Constitution and its articles of impeachment, one of the high crimes that came to mind was what Alexander Hamilton stated: “... the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.”

Now, for the first time since this country’s founding, the scope and limit of the president’s interactions with a foreign government will be put to the forefront of politics in the U.S.

Since his 2016 upset victory, President Donald Trump has been mired in controversy after controversy.

He has shown complete disregard for the rule of law; he has made countless racist, xenophobic and sexist remarks and on a near daily basis he makes outright false statements.

Earlier this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), under pressure from many members of the Democratic Party, put words into action and began a formal impeachment inquiry in response to the Trump-Ukraine controversy.

A whistleblower complaint revealed that Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani pressed the Ukrainian government to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of former vice president and 2020 Democratic hopeful Joe Biden.

The whistleblower, a CIA employee who was posted at the White House, filed the complaint as the individual expressed concern that Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”

The release of the whistleblower’s complaint against Trump alleges that he repeatedly attempted to enlist the help of Ukrainian officials to investigate Biden and his son as well as allegedly withholding nearly $400 million in military aid from Ukraine as leverage.

It should be apparent to any right-minded individual that Trump has been and continues to be unqualified as commander in chief. Unfortunately for Democrats and those who dislike the president, the impeachment inquiry will go nowhere, and we can thank Senate Republicans for that.

The rules for impeachment are as follows: articles of impeachment are drafted and voted on in the House leading to a trial in the Senate. Republicans have a majority in the Senate meaning that 20 votes from within the Grand Old Party would be required to reach the 67 votes necessary to remove him from office, while also assuming that all Democrats and the two Independents vote to convict Trump.

Given that Trump has maintained a complete stranglehold on the Republican party and has threatened to support primary challenges against those who oppose him means that it is highly unlikely even one GOP Senator would dare to vote for conviction.

According to a recent CBS News poll which surveyed whether Americans approved of an impeachment inquiry into Trump, 55% of respondents said they support the inquiry while 45% do not; thus, Americans continue to remain divided.

To put it simply, Trump, despite the countless controversies surrounding his presidency, will likely not be impeached so long as the Senate remains in Republican hands and unless public opinion overwhelmingly supports impeachment.

ANDREW DOUGHERTY is a Columnist for The Vidette. Contact him at vidette_addough@ilstu.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @addough


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