Update on Trump’s Impeachment and Where Prosecutors Fell Short

Update+on+Trump%E2%80%99s+Impeachment+and+Where+Prosecutors+Fell+Short

Sara Matvey, Editor

Since the impeachment inquiry began in September of this year, an abundance of new information has come forward. There were many hearings from key players in the case, which is where many believe the case fell short. During the first round of hearings, which began in mid-October, The House of Representatives, which is majority Democrats, outlined the constitutional justification for impeachment that the Republicans have been asking for. Subsequently, the House voted to impeach Trump and he went on trial in January 2020. He was not removed from office but was still impeached for aiding Ukraine in return for support in the 2020 election.

July

  • On July 25, 2019, President Trump had a phone call with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky after putting a hold of almost $400 million worth of military aid to Ukraine. In this phone call, Trump asked Zelensky to launch an investigation into a conspiracy theory regarding Ukrainian interference with the 2016 election and into Joe and Hunter Biden. At the time, Joe Biden was polling to be Trump’s top competitor in the 2020 election.

August

  • On August 12, 2019, a whistleblower filed a complaint against President Trump for his phone call with President Zelensky.
  • President Trump was not notified of this until later in August.

September

  • On September 9, 2019, congress learned of the whistleblower complaint against President Trump. Two days later Trump lifted the hold on Ukraine military aid.
  • On September 13, 2019, Adam Schiff, House intelligence committee chairman, issued a subpoena to Joesph Maguire, acting director of national intelligence, because he did not release the whistleblower complaint to the House intelligence committee as he was required to.
  • On September 24, 2019, the White House released a non-verbatim transcript of Trump’s phone call with Zelensky to congress. This confirmed many of the whistleblower’s allegations. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, announced the formation of committees to begin the formal impeachment of Trump. These committees were in charge of financial services, the judiciary, intelligence, foreign affairs, oversight and reform, and ways and means.
  • On September 26, 2019, Trump accused the person who provided intel to the whistleblower of treason and subsequently noting that treason is punishable by the death penalty. Maguire testified before the House intelligence committee for withholding the whistleblower complaint from congress.
  • On September 27, 2019, Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, was subpoenaed to release additional documents to the house.
  • On September 29, 2019, Pelosi had a conference call with other democratic lawmakers to plan how they would investigate Trump’s abuse of power.

October

  • On October 4, 2019, Mike Pence, Vice President of the US, was subpoenaed to release additional documents. He did not comply.
  • On October 8, 2019, the White House announced via a letter to Nancy Pelosi that they would not cooperate with the investigation. The letter stated that the investigation was a violation of the constitution. Gordon Sondland, US ambassador to the European Union, was scheduled to testify but was instructed to not attend by Trump.
  • Throughout the month of October and the beginning of November, there were about 30 depositions from various government officials.

November

  • Hearings continued until midway through the month
  • The first public hearings began on November 13.
  • On November 25, 2019, Adam Schiff published a letter stating that the next steps in the impeachment process would be taken when Congress returned from Thanksgiving recess.

December

  • On December 3, 2019, the House Intelligence Committee published a report on the inquiry. Republicans released a counter report saying that the evidence provided does not support the accusations and argument. This report concluded the inquiry stage of the impeachment.
  • On December 5, 2019, articles of impeachment were drafted.
  • On December 10, 2019, it was announced that there were two articles of impeachment–abuse of power and obstruction of congress in its investigation of the Trump’s interactions with Ukraine.
  • On December 18, 2019, Trump was impeached. The vote was along party lines with only three Democrats voting against the articles.

January

  • Republicans refused transparency and cooperation in the Senate trial.
  • On January 15, 2020, formally delivered the articles and they were presented on the 16th.
  • Prosecutors began delivering opening arguments on January 21. Trump’s defense began on January 25.
  • Democrats were accused of using the impeachment as a way to win the 2020 election.
  • On January 31, 2010, the Senate voted against calling witnesses or documents.

February

  • On February 5, 2020, the Senate acquitted Trump on both articles. The votes were along party lines with only 1 Republican voting guilty.

 

Public opinion on the results of the trial are sharply divided amongst party lines. Almost all Republicans believe that Trump is innocent and almost all Democrats believe that Trump is guilty. So is Trump guilty? The answer to that depends on your political opinions and what you believe is morally correct. I personally believe that Trump is guilty however, I do not believe that he ever had a chance in being removed from office. Especially considering that the Senate removes impeached Presidents from office and the Senate is majority Republican, Trump never had a chance of being removed. Politicians tend to be stuck in their ways, and almost always vote along party lines, but I was surprised and angry that there were not any witnesses or documents called to trial. While the outcome of the trial most likely would have stayed the same if witnesses were called, because politicians are so stuck in their ways, it would have been easier for citizens to come to their own conclusions. So, what do you think the outcome should have been? Do you think that the trial was not long or thorough enough to be adequate? Leave a comment below!

Transcript of Trump’s phone call with President Zelenskiy 

Transcripts of closed impeachment hearings

Key documents in the impeachment of Donald Trump

Source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_of_Donald_Trump