Point: Is the Impeachment of Trump a Waste of Time?

Josie Krupens, Opinions Editor

 The December 18 verdict to impeach President Donald Trump on counts of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress has many people wondering if it was worth the trouble. From the Republican majority in the Senate to predictions regarding the upcoming 2020 presidential race, they say there are many reasons why impeachment was not the right course of action for the Democrats. However, there are still plenty of benefits to impeachment. Considering all his wrongdoings, it is still important to impeach Trump.

   Despite what any opposers say about the inconvenient nature of the impeachment, it is clearly warranted when it comes to Trump. According to the BBC, a transcript of a phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky revealed that Trump asked Zelensky to begin an investigation into his political rival, Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter Biden. To make matters worse, Trump withheld millions of dollars of U.S. military aid to Ukraine which, according to a senior official, was a bargaining chip in order to persuade Zelensky. In other words, bribery (bbc.com). This accounts for the abuse of power article, while the charge of obstruction of Congress was decided upon because Trump refused to cooperate with the investigation (cnn.com). These infractions should not be ignored or pushed aside, lest the president believes he is immune to all consequences, which he should not be, and is not.

   The charges Trump is faced with are serious infractions. While it is true that the Senate has a Republican majority, and Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he will work to acquit Trump as soon as possible, removal from office is not the only point of impeachment (nytimes.com). Even if Trump is not removed from office, it is still extremely important that we as the American people acknowledge and condemn the type of vile behavior listed in the articles of impeachment, as it is our constitutional right to do so.

   Though opposers of impeachment claim it will only hurt Democrats, impeachment is still a stain on a president. According to the New York Times, “Americans continued to approve of Clinton’s job performance, polls showed, but many also said they disapproved of him personally. The discomfort helped define the 2000 Presidential Race” (nytimes.com). Presidents Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon, the only other presidents to be impeached, faced political downturns after their impeachments (theatlantic.com). Even if there are only small shifts in the mindsets of the American people, and even if the Democrats are hurt short-term, impeachment could still be enough to turn the tides on Trump’s reelection campaign. Furthermore, being one of the very few presidents to ever be impeached is certainly not good for Trump’s reputation in the long term. Being compared to Nixon and the Watergate scandal is especially negative for the president. 

   The investigation into Trump may also bring new infractions to light. According to the Atlantic, impeachment can bring new evidence to light about the president’s poor behavior and separate truth from claims that hold no real evidence, as seen in Johnson’s impeachment (theatlantic.com). Additionally, during Nixon’s impeachment inquiry, more damning evidence was found against him, proving he was involved in a coverup. “The evidence that drove Nixon from office thus emerged as a consequence of the impeachment hearings; it did not spark them” (theatlantic.com). Considering this information, it would not be far fetched to say that with Trump’s impeachment, people may begin to think of more ways that Trump has done wrong. They may find truth in other accusations about the president and further tarnish his reputation. “I believe Trump’s impeachment by the House of Representatives is good because it will damage Trump’s reputation,” stated Junior Mikaela Norum.

   With Trump impeached in the House, and the Senate’s decision on the horizon, the debate over the significance of Trump’s impeachment continues to gain traction. Those who claim that the impeachment is worthless and harmful to Democrats don’t see the bigger picture that lies beyond removing Trump from office. Impeachment serves as a constitutional tool to keep the president in check, and we should continue to utilize it.