On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump on two articles, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
He is now the third president in United States history to be impeached, and lawyers for the House Judiciary Committee said on Monday there may be a second impeachment effort. This could happen if the House uncovers new evidence that Trump attempted to obstruct investigations into his conduct.
Regardless, these developments have left much of the country feeling divided. Americans have looked at the impeachment spearheaded by House Democrats (only two of whom voted “no”) through many different lenses.
Justin Pavonarius, a member of Penn State College Republicans, called Trump’s impeachment “unjust.”
“[Trump] was impeached for an attempt at political gain by the Democrats,” Pavonarius (freshman-political science) said via email. “I believe that there was nothing within that phone call [with the Ukranian president] that should have had President Trump impeached.”
He added that House Democrats only went forward with impeachment so that the Democrat who wins the nomination will be able to say they are running against an impeached president.
“I believe this plan will end up hurting Democrats because it will unite Republican voters in 2020 and they will be more inclined to go to the polls to reelect President Trump,” Pavonarius said. “I believe it will cause centrists to vote Republican because they will realize the way Democrats in Congress are abusing their powers.”
Thomas Sontag also felt that the Democrats’ reasoning behind the impeachment inquiry wasn’t based off of the Constitution.
“I do feel that people want to get him impeached because of his incompetence and not because of what the law states,” Sontag (freshman-microbiology and German) said.
However, he added that “there are some very solid grounds on why [Trump] should be impeached.”
Daniel Cruz, an international student, said he has “mixed feelings” about Trump.
“There’s some stuff that happened after he got elected that made life for international students really hard,” Cruz (junior-computer engineering) said. “I was trying to get a job in tech consulting, and after he got elected there were some laws that passed that made it harder for consulting companies to hire international students, so that limited my options.”
However, Cruz said he didn’t know enough about the scope of the impeachment situation to have a strong opinion on it.
Allen Lee, on the other hand, said the president has “done things wrong.”
“I’ve seen bits of the news on TV and there were a lot of people who were very confident he wasn’t going to be impeached and that he didn’t do anything wrong,” Lee (sophomore-finance) said. “I think that in this case the things he has done are pretty severe, and he should be held accountable.”
Kelsey Denny, the president of the Penn State College Democrats, said the impeachment “spoke volumes about fear and loyalty.”
“Trump, on multiple occasions, asked a foreign government to intervene in our elections and our democracy and the College Democrats believe this is an abysmal abuse of power,” Denny (senior-political science, women’s studies) said. “[Impeachment] should never have been a partisan issue, but a constitutional one.”
She said the next steps for Democrats will be “the hardest,” as 67 senators’ votes are needed for Trump to be removed from office.
“I am hesitant to suggest that removal will happen given the party dynamic of the Senate,” Denny said, “but the College Democrats will be calling [Pennsylvania] Senator [Pat] Toomey and potentially others around the nation to ensure that no matter what, our voices are heard.”