Impeachment Recap: What You Should Know

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The 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump, who recently faced impeachment. "Trump's portraits" by Svetik Petushkova, Andrew Sharapov is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

Lili Stevens, Arts & Entertainment Editor

In December of 2019, President Donald Trump became the third United States president to be impeached by the House of Representatives. The democratic-majority House voted to impeach Trump on the grounds of “abuse of power and obstruction of Congress”, according to Dareh Gregorian from NBC. Impeachment proceedings now require the president to be tried by the Senate.

For a president of the United States to be impeached, they must have committed, “Treason, Bribery, or other High Crime or Misdemeanor,” according to Article 2 of the United States Constitution. As outlined by the Congressional Research Service, the impeachment process goes as follows: the first step of impeachment is a congressional investigation. This usually occurs within the House or Senate Judiciary Committee. After the investigation has been completed, the House of Representatives must pass articles of impeachment via a majority vote. If and when these articles are passed, the defendant (the president) has been “impeached.” The final step in impeachment proceedings is a trial by the Senate in which the Chief Justice of the United States presides over the case. Conviction in the Senate requires a two-thirds majority vote and if this is achieved, the president will be removed from office and the vice president will take over the position. 

In the history of the United States, three presidents, including President Trump, have been impeached by the House of Representatives. Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were the other two presidents who have faced impeachment. Richard Nixon was nearly impeached but retired from the presidency before he could be formally accused.

Trump had seemed frighteningly nonchalant about these proceedings and continued to tweet with vigor about the “witch hunt.”

On Feb. 5, the Senate voted to acquit President Trump for both of his charges, making him the third president to be impeached by the House, and the third president to get off scot-free in the Senate. 

It’s hard for people from all sides of the aisle to not feel discouraged by this entire process. To watch our representatives fight for or against

The votes of individuals make the fundamental base of our democracy. Register to vote to make sure your voice is heard this upcoming election season. Photo of a voter registration sign taken by Ellory Boyd.

impeachment with such vigor, only for it all to end in a relatively juvenile and inconsequential game of name-calling feels disrespectful to democracy. Overall, this process has been long and arduous and ended in an unsatisfying defeat for the Democrats and a superficial victory for Trump. The best result that I can see coming from this impeachment is that more people will find a cause they believe in and vote to make it happen. 

Votesaveamerica.com is a great resource that allows you to register to vote and find times and locations of caucuses, voting days, ballot drop locations, etc. For Colorado citizens, you can pre-register to vote at the DMV when you are getting your driver’s license. Colorado’s primary elections are open, meaning you don’t have to be affiliated with a party to vote. If you will be 18 or older by November 3rd, you can vote in the primaries. Get out there and vote for what you believe in!