This Wednesday, February 5th, Donald Trump was acquitted of both charges made against him in his impeachment trial. At the close of 2019, President Donald J. Trump became the 3rd president in the history of our nation to be impeached by the House of Representatives. The two charges in the articles of impeachment that were sent to the Senate by House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi were the Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress. The House had been investigating these charges and others for five months at the end of 2019 and sent the signed articles to the Senate for trial in January.
The House of Representatives, that is controlled by Democrats, passed the articles of impeachment with a vote along party lines and sent them to the Republican-controlled Senate for trial. In accordance with our nation’s laws, the House acts in much the same manner as a grand jury, where the Senate’s role is to hold a trial. The Senate chose not to further the investigation based upon the evidence presented by the House and went almost directly to the vote after allowing statements from both sides.
In the final vote on the 2 counts, the votes went as many expected with Democrats voting to convict and Republicans voting to acquit. According to an article posted on Business Insider, all Democratic members of the Senate, as well as Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney, voted to convict the President on the count of abusing his power. This is the first time in the history of the United States that a member of the President’s party has voted to convict a sitting President. However, Senator Romney voted to acquit the President of Obstructing Congress, leaving that final count with a vote of 47-53.
The Senate’s decision has sparked discussion among people who have been following the trial. While the nation’s citizens discuss and debate the validity of the accusations and the acquittal, Bob Jones students have their own opinions. Junior Lily Hughes responded to a survey saying, “At this point, it’s been years of reaching and reaching for a reason to remove President Trump from office. Instead of grabbing at strands of false allegations, maybe we should focus on the upcoming election.” She continued, “As far as my research and knowledge have led me to believe, nothing was done wrong.” Another student, Sophomore Katie Tanner, had a different opinion on the matter. She responded to the same survey with “the Senate allowing Trump to get away with asking foreign countries to tamper with our elections will forever tarnish the Constitution and the ‘Democracy’ we […] like to brag about.”
After the acquittal was announced, President Trump took to Twitter to celebrate and announce that he would be making a public statement on the 6th to discuss his victory in the trial. In his statement, he discussed how he feels that this trial has taken place throughout his entire presidency. Toward the beginning of his hour-long speech, he said, “…we have been going through this now for over three years. It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cups, it was leakers and liars, and this should never ever happen to another president ever.”
Regardless of opinions, an impeachment trial is a significant event in our nation’s history and one that not every generation is witness to. While President Trump was acquitted of these charges, Democrats have vowed to continue their investigations into President Trump and Republicans have announced that they will begin inquiries of their own into the government officials (mostly Democrats) involved in what they have deemed a “witch hunt.” Only time will tell what these dueling inquests could reveal about the behavior of our nation’s representatives, but rest assured, much like the rest of the nation, future voters will be taking note and forming our own opinions.