Next Step, Impeachment?

Rory King, Co-Editor In Chief

On Tuesday, September 24th, Nancy Pelosi formally opened an impeachment inquiry on President Donald J. Trump. Impeachment itself is the process of the legislative body calling into question the actions of the President. If a President is impeached it does not mean they are removed from office, only that they have been charged with high crimes and misdemeanors worthy of removal from office. The decision to open the inquiry came on the back of allegations, accusing the President of attempting to enlist the aid of a foreign government, namely Ukraine, in the investigation of a political rival. While impeachment is certainly a very big deal with large ramifications on the country as a whole, beginning the inquiry at this point is absolutely a necessary step in holding accountable the office of the presidency.
The issue isn’t as black and white as saying that all Democrats should be in favor of the inquiry and all Republicans against it. There are issues to consider for both sides on whether or not this is the best step forward at this time. Impeachment is a dramatic issue that can dominate the attention of the media. This, in a time when there is still plenty of other issues to address, is certainly not helpful. Similarly, Democratic candidates for president are in a time of great importance as they try to establish themselves amongst the crowded field. If all the attention is put on impeachment, these candidates do not get the chance to discuss the issues that truly matter to them and will help them rise in the polls. For Republicans, they will obviously not like the idea of an impeachment inquiry into their president as it does reflect poorly on the party and if the allegations are true, which seems more and more likely with each day of further evidence and testimonies, there will be a feeling of mistrust from the American people which may take a while to overcome and will really hurt the party in the coming elections.
Despite all of this, however, both sides should still be in favor of proceeding with the inquiry. There is an honor and dignity that comes with being president of the United States that must be upheld. If we hold off with this inquiry, it sets a poor precedent for how lenient we are with the President. If there is the suggestion of wrong-doing it needs to be investigated, otherwise the office of the presidency becomes above the law. While the previously stated reasons are very convincing for Republicans to not want the inquiry to proceed, they should see how they could make the best of the situation. They should be in favor of the inquiry as it could either pull up nothing and exonerate the president, or, it will pull up something, but they will have already separated themselves from the president so they will avoid the mistrust with the citizens of this country and may simply blame the president and his associates, independent from the party.
As time goes by, it is seeming more and more certain that President Donald Trump did threaten to withhold military aid to Ukraine if Ukraine did not agree to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. When the time to vote on impeachment arrives, it is important that politics is left out of it. Elected officials, who should all be well versed on the letters of the law and what is acceptable for the President, should be able to come to a consensus on whether or not this is an acceptable act for the President and if it is impeachable. There should be little to no ambiguity. Either you think a President can use military aid as leverage to extract political gains or they can’t.