President Trump’s Impeachment Trial



President Trump shaking hands with Mr. Zelensky

Angela Tucker, Staff Writer

Even though we’re leaving 2019 behind, members of the United States government are still arguing over whether or not President Donald Trump should be left in office. His abuse of power and obstruction of Congress are the main reasons the Senate is trying to determine whether he stays or leaves.

President Trump’s actions are piling up as evidence against him in this impeachment case. At the top of that pile, President Trump is accused of pressuring Ukraine to bring up damaging information on one of his Democratic rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden. President Trump did this all for his personal political gain. Trump has also been getting backlash for the recent drone strike on Iran’s top security and intelligence commander Major General Qassim Suleimani, spreading a panic for World War III.

President Trump believed he solved all of his political problems the last five months as he has had direct contact with Ukraine. Shown in a reconstructed transcript of a call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, Zelensky thanked President Trump for the aid Americans had given in the past, including Javelin anti-tank weapons, and asked for more help in Ukraine’s five-year-old war with Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country. Trump took this as an opportunity to ask for a favor. He asked for the help of Attorney General William P. Barr for an investigation of a company that was involved in the F.B.I inquiry of Russia’s 2016 election interference. He also requested the aforementioned investigation connected to former Vice President Biden.

Mauricio Perez, Carla Sotelo, Alexia Leal

The U.S.-ordered airstrike on Soleimani has left another strike against President Trump and how trustworthy he is. Trump’s administration claim the attack had been planned since May and was an act of self-defense. The U.S government claims that Qassem Soleimani had been plotting attacks on U.S facilities and workers in Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria that would have killed hundreds of Americans. According to international human rights law, a country may kill in self-defense only under extremely narrow circumstances. Agnes Callamard, a human rights expert from France and reporter recently talked to NBC News and argued that the attack was not warranted and did nothing to protect the United States. She pointed out that several people lost their lives in this attack, which makes the strike even more unjust.

Mary Ellen O’Connell, a law professor and expert on international disputes at the University of Notre Dame agrees: “We have carried out the attack on the territory of a state that plainly did not give us permission [to be there],” she said. “The attack was unlawful, the assassination was not justifiable.”

The debate had begun Tuesday afternoon going over the rules that will guide the impeachment trial. The senate rejected three Democratic amendments to call in more witnesses. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell requests a swift trial, but Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, argue against speeding through all the testimonies because they see it as a way to cover up Trump’s dealings. 

Last Saturday, President Trump’s lawyers previewed their case, still insisting that there is nothing wrong with his dealings with the Ukraine government and shoving the blame to Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. On Sunday, John Bolton, who served as President Trump’s national security advisor until September, claimed that the President told him directly to send nearly four hundred million dollars in military aid to Ukraine. Bolton said he is prepared to testify under oath, starting what Fox News has now dubbed the “Bolton Bombshell.” Several Republican administrators have said they do not want Bolton testifying.

At the time of printing this article, the result of the impeachment trial is still up in the air. The Senate should decide whether they will let Bolton and others testify by Friday, Jan. 31. If the vote is denied, the Senate might have to vote to find President Trump not guilty of all impeachment charges.