Since Dec. 18 of last year, Donald J. Trump has been in the biggest legal battle to date, the impeachment trial to determine if they will continue being the President of the United States. The impeachment process began after a whistleblower complaint was filed in August 2019 accusing Trump of pressuring Ukraine to investigate former VP and now democratic primary candidate, Joe Biden.
After committee hearings involving several key government officials, the House of Representatives voted to impeach the president on two articles of impeachment. One was an abuse of power for pressuring a foreign government into investigating a political rival. The second was obstruction of Congress for refusing to allow certain officials to testify at the committee hearings. Trump was also invited to testify but refused.
The House passed on the articles of impeachment to the Senate after the holidays and the Senate is now in week two of the trial to determine if Trump should be removed from office.
This has proved to be a tricky trial already with lots of heat from both the Democrats and the Republicans. The Republicans hold the majority in the Senate, unlike in the House of Representatives, some of which stated before the trial that they would not vote to remove Trump from office.
The last time a presodent was tried for impeachment was in 1999. Bill Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives but not removed from power. With all of the impeachment news going on in the US, some UF students have some of their thoughts on how the impeachment trials should and what should ultimately happen to President Trump.
Ashton Coleman, a freshman at UF, believes that impeachment will not get through the Senate.
“I don’t think that Senate will actually impeach him. I personally see the good in everyone and even though I don’t like everything that he does, I want to see the good in him and he has done some good things overall,” said Coleman.
Coleman also believes that Trump shouldn’t be removed because of what he has done for her family.
“My mom works for the government and I see the good things he does for her,” said Coleman. “She got a pay increase because of something that he did, so for me personally, he has helped my family.”
Martha Foltz, also a freshman at UF, does not want to see him be removed from office. After all, she believes that he was voted in because the people wanted him in office and it should be left that way, at least until after the election this upcoming Nov.
“I understand people’s passions, but he was elected based on what our country originally wanted, and I believe it is only fair to see that carried out, especially with the election being this year,” Foltz said.
Dylan Frazier, a senior at UF, believes that Trump has done something wrong but is unsure whether or not Trump will actually be removed from office.
“I am not a Trump fan and haven’t been since day one. I understand he has done some things well, but most of what he has done I completely disagree with,” said Frazier. “However, in regards to impeachment, I do not think it will get through the senate personally. Unless what Bolton has in his book is clear evidence that Trump pressured the Ukrainian president, I just don’t see the Republican-controlled Senate letting their President get removed, we’ll see though.”
Frazier is referring to former National Security Advisor of the United States, John Bolton, saying in his book that Trump wanted to withhold $391 million in Ukraine aid as leverage for investigations that would benefit him politically. Trump vehemently denies these claims by Bolton.
UF junior Katie Eriksen believes she does not have enough knowledge on the matter to truly form an opinion. But does think this process is a bad use of resources.
“To be completely honest, I really don’t feel like I know enough information to have a true, logical opinion about that,” said Eriksen. “The only thing I do know is that I know that they have spent around $40 million of impeachment of someone who will be out of the office this year. I really feel that money could be going elsewhere to help the hungry, homeless, and uneducated people in our country.”
Finance experts have since debunked the rumor that the impeachment has cost $40 million dollars. According to Joel Anderson of gobankingrates.com, the impeachment has cost no more than the cost of daily business. He points out that Congress is on a salary and its facilities are owned by the government. He suggests the $40 million includes the Mueller report which was not part of the impeachment process.
House managers and White House defense team have each given their opening statements and the trial now moves into the question period with senators asking questions about what they heard so far. The biggest question will be the impact of the Bolton book and whether he will be called to testify in the Senate trial.