Students weigh in on Trump’s impeachment

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to a 2011 CPAC gathering – Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia

The Senate impeachment trials for President Donald J. Trump began on January 16, 2020, and are wrapping up this week. Television viewership reached around 70 million Americans.

     The trial is now in the Senate stage as Trump has already been impeached by the House of Representatives. The repercussions up to this point have been the equivalent of a slap on the wrist. President Trump will not be removed from office.

     Early on, the Senate introduced a collection of rules that both President Trump’s lawyers and the house managers would have to follow. Orchestrated by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, each side had only twenty-four hours over four days to state its case to the Senate. The Senate then had sixteen hours over two days to ask any questions and to make the decision as to if they should call witnesses.

     The house managers acted as the prosecution, and President Trump’s lawyers served as the defense. Seven house managers were chosen by the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, including people such as former Army Ranger Jason Crow, experienced law enforcer Val B. Demings, and House Intelligence Committee chair Adam B. Shiff, a prominent Democrat who has been leading the inquiry. 

     Third Former Lucio Acchione had a strong opinion on President Trump’s trial. Like the other 70 million Americans, Acchione has seen at least a small part of the trials and is aware of proceedings.

     “Obviously the majority of the Senate are Republicans and most of them are Trump-supporting, so I believe that Trump will not be [removed], but in the end, things could go either way,” Acchione said.

     Acchione thinks it clear that the Republicans have the upper hand in the sense that the majority of the Senate is Republican, which could lead to Trump having many supporters in the Senate. He also does not consider the president culpable of any Constitution-infracting offenses.

     “I think President Trump should win this trial because what he did was not illegal and what he is being accused of is just an exaggeration of a series of events.”

poll by Austin Zhuang ’22

     Acchione is convinced that what President Trump did was not something that was twisted by the house managers into nothing more than an exaggeration of a series of events. Acchione, like many others, is waiting to see the way that this trial turns out because it is known that it could go either way.

     Third Former Joey Kauffman said, “I know that the Democrats really believe that Trump has done something impeachable, so they have been and are going to go after him, but the way that it is looking is that there is not going to be any witnesses admitted, so it’s going to be tough.”

“I just don’t see [conviction] happening.”

     On Friday, January 31, the Senate voted to proceed without further witnesses. Without them, the House members will have a hard time proving their case.

     “You have to get two-thirds of the Senate’s vote to impeach him,” Kauffman said. “So honestly, I think that President Trump will not be impeached because more than one-third of the Republicans in the Senate would have to vote to impeach, and I just don’t see that happening.”

Author: Connor Pinsk '23

Connor Pinsk joined The Index in the fall of 2019.