After years of testing his executive power through numerous corruption scandals, Trump is finally under investigation for engaging in an illegal quid-pro-quo with Ukraine. With the 2020 election fast approaching and incumbent President Trump likely to be the Republican Party nominee, these recent trials could hopefully prove influential in determining whether Trump serves a second term.
The impeachment hearings were sparked by the leaked transcript of a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky by an anonymous whistleblower. In the transcript, Trump threatened to withdraw military aid from Ukraine unless Zelensky provided harmful information on Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
The testimonies of former ambassadors and State Department employees provided scathing new evidence to House Democrats in their investigation against Trump. However, despite the eye-opening, incriminating testimonies of former United States Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and many others, the hearings will likely prove inconsequential since Republicans hold a majority in the Senate.
Prior to the hearings, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated that the impeachment trial would not lead to Trump’s removal, according to NBC News. McConnell is using the Nixon impeachment hearings as the framework for Trump’s impeachment process, even though Trump’s crimes are significantly worse and could actually be considered treasonous. Influential Republican leaders need to understand that these hearings mean more than simply throwing someone from the GOP under the bus, and are, in their entirety, about dealing with a president who has broken the code of law through the obstruction of justice.
Trump has tweeted threatening messages to the whistleblower and about Yovanovitch’s incompetence as a U.S. Ambassador during her testimony. Trump’s ego will cause him to be reluctant to resign, especially when he believes he can alter facts of a public trial by launching slanderous tweets at Democrats during the hearings. He holds his executive power as a threat, neglecting the fundamental aspects of the American system of government and overlooking the process of our democracy.
The House Intelligence Committee has issued subpoenas to many White House officials, but they have all declined to testify in order to cover for Trump and to avoid perjuring themselves in the process. This only makes Trump look more guilty in the public’s eye, but tainted news and unwavering partisan support proves difficult to surmount.
California Republican Representative Devin Nunes and Ohio Republican Representative Jim Jordan have actively tried to shift the narrative away from Trump and onto those testifying by undermining their credentials and experience. However, they need to stop wasting time with irrelevant questions that do not help exonerate the president. Their actions in these trials do not reflect positively on the Republican Party but instead indicate that they are grasping at straws to prove Trump’s alleged innocence.
Even more concerning, during Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland’s testimony, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and lawyer Rudy Giuliani were accused of playing significant roles in the quid-pro-quo with Ukraine. This proves problematic, because should Trump be removed from office, Pence is equally as culpable as his successor, as is Pompeo.
Despite hearing evidence-based testimonies, Republican congressional members seem to remain supportive of Trump, and their blind loyalty will be our downfall. It is not worth the destruction of our democracy to appease our president and stick with party loyalty over the preservation of our nation’s values and virtues.
Trump’s actions should not be dismissed or ignored but should be dealt with promptly. Even though it is unlikely that the president will be removed from office, hopefully this trial will act as a deterrent in his bid for reelection.