Partisan politics invalidate impeachment investigations


Christian Finch, Staff Columnist

Donald Trump is currently being consumed by his most recent and grave scandal. This scandal, to summarize, is that President Trump withheld important military aid from the Ukrainian government and then later used $400 million as leverage to convince the Ukrainian government to look into the relationship between Joe Biden’s son and a gas company in Ukraine. That investigation so far has not resulted in any breakthroughs or arrests at the time of this column. If anything relating to Ukraine and President Trump were to be proven, it would seem likely that the president would be swiftly voted out of office and charged with several crimes. I am skeptical of this possibility.

Let’s look at two hypothetical worlds in which we can reasonably presume the outcome. In the first hypothetical, let’s assume that the Ukraine investigation is completely inaccurate and it’s all a Democrat power grab because they can’t win 2020. Of course, in this situation, there would be no vote for removal from office. Even if there was one, it would fall far short of the two-thirds majority in the Senate to accomplish its goal.  

Now let’s look at a hypothetical situation in which everything in the report is true – the report was produced by divine revelation, and there is no chance of even the slightest mistake. The Gordon Sondland testimony makes the second situation a higher possibility. On Nov. 20, 2019, Gordon Sondland, an American ambassador to the EU, made several statements accusing President Trump of being guilty of the accusations levied against him. His closeness to the president only gives his claims and the resulting accusations much more credibility.

The investigation would, as a result, recommend impeachment and removal from office. However, it is a lesser-known fact that a sitting president cannot be charged with any crime while he is in office. The United States Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel created that statute in October of 2000. In other words, it’s pretty safe to say that removal from office wouldn’t happen for the reason that it’s political suicide. If you are a member of a political party and your job is dependent upon providing legislative outcomes that your voters want, it would be a bad idea to anger the leader of your party. President Trump is the face of the Republican Party, so any attempt to oust him from the inside would immediately anger him, his close congressional supporters and, most importantly, his base. We need to look no farther than the  president’s tweets on Oct. 23, 2019, where we can see him calling fellow Republicans “human scum” when they showed opposition to him and his actions in the office.

This is only a taste of President Trump’s constant hostile stance toward even his close supporters. It should be worrying that the checks and balances of this country may very well be in jeopardy due to partisanship and a party that is quickly becoming a one-man show.