After almost two months of debate, Trump has been acquitted

Joshua Shepherd, Staff Reporter

To date, only three US presidents have ever been impeached: Andrew Johnson in 1868, Bill Clinton in 1999, and Donald Trump.

Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body – in this case, Congress – brings charges against a government official – President Trump. The president was accused of having done two key things:

  1. Abuse of power. Trump was accused of trying to get help from Ukraine’s government in order to win the next presidential election. He is claimed to have held $391 million worth of military aid from the country and held a secret meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, to arrange a public investigation into the presidential candidate and former US vice president Joe Biden. Biden is leading the Democratic candidates in the polls and poses as one of Trump’s most significant threats to the White House come this November.
  2. Obstruction of justice. Because White House staff were not allowed to testify against President Trump during the first impeachment hearings in December, he is being accused of having obstructed Congress.

The impeachment trial began in the Senate on Jan. 16, with Chief Justice John Roberts presiding. The side of the prosecution is made up of seven House Democrats, known as House managers. They are Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Hakeem Jeffries, Val Demings, Jason Crow, and Sylvia Garcia. The defense is comprised of the White House Counsel and a “Congressional Defense Team”, made up of eight House Republicans. The counsel includes Pat Cipollone, Jay Sekulow, Ken Starr, Alan Dershowitz, Pam Bondi, Jane Raskin, Eric Herschmann, and Robert Ray. On the defense team are Doug Collins, Mike Johnson, Jim Jordan, Debbie Lesko, Mark Meadows, John Ratcliffe, Elise Stefanik, and Lee Zeldin.

Between Jan. 22 and 24, the prosecution’s opening arguments were held. The defense team’s were held between Jan. 25 and 28.

They put Trump in a peach: Chief Justice John Roberts finds Trump innocent. In the days after the trial, there was much tension in the halls of the Capitol Building.  I feel like Trump being acquitted was expected,” commented junior Ephram Edelkind.

One of the largest debates during the course of the trial was that of whether or not to pull in and question witnesses of Trump’s alleged crimes. Because the push for witness testimony was voted against 51-49, no witness testimony was used in the trial.

On Feb. 3, closing arguments were given by both the prosecution and defense. By the night of Feb. 5, it had been decided that Trump would be acquitted on both articles of impeachment.

“I feel kind of neutral about the whole thing,” said junior Sean Clark. “Even if he did do something wrong, I don’t see this having too much of an effect on the future of the presidency.”