Unprecedented impeachment inquiry deserves our full attention

Unprecedented impeachment inquiry deserves our full attention

Photo Credits: CAITLYN SAMPLEY / AGGIE

Call your representative, choose your news source wisely

Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the U.S. House of Representatives would initiate a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. Trump is charged with betraying his oath of office and the nation’s security. 

Following months of pressure from Democratic lawmakers, Pelosi launched the inquiry after an incident many are calling a “smoking gun” became public information as part of a whistle-blower complaint. This “smoking gun,” a term that originated during President Richard Nixon’s impeachment, was the release of a phone call that details President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Trump allegedly pressured Ukraine to open a corruption investigation into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., the Democratic frontrunner of the 2020 presidential election, in the hopes of giving Trump a better chance at re-election. 

But the launch of this inquiry has come with a lot of confusion and misinformation, including from the president himself. An impeachment inquiry is not the same thing as an impeachment trial, nor does it guarantee a vote of impeachment. So what is an impeachment inquiry? This impeachment inquiry is the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation into whether there’s enough evidence for an impeachment case to go forward, according to TIME Magazine. 

Even if the House decides there’s enough evidence for an impeachment trial, it would ultimately be up to the Senate to vote on removing Trump from office. For instance, Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached by the House, but they weren’t removed from office by the Senate. Nixon resigned from office before the House had the opportunity to vote on his impeachment. 

An impeachment trial is not a criminal trial, but a political trial, even though the president will be defended by his personal lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani. 

While impeachment seems out of our grasp at UC Davis, the Editorial Board encourages students to get involved where they can. Students should take their civic responsibility seriously and should know where their representatives stand on impeachment. If you don’t know who your representative is, you can find out here. Calling your representatives to express your opinion is important to the democratic process. 

It’s also important to get your news and updates on the impeachment proceedings from trusted sources. Trump is weaving an elaborate web trying to explain his actions, but it’s important to not let the accused party be your sole source for the truth.

Understanding what’s happening on Capitol Hill is also important because if Trump is not removed from office by the Senate, the American public will have the opportunity to express its thoughts about the impeachment proceedings during the 2020 election. If he remains in office, Trump will be the likely Republican presidential frontrunner. This is an unprecedented situation given that in previous impeachment cases, the presidents didn’t have the opportunity to run again. 

This impeachment process is sure to be long and confusing, especially given that  Trump is attempting to throw blame on pharmaceutical companies, Biden, the Democratic Party and more. Just yesterday, it was revealed that Trump also called on China’s President Xi Jinping to open his own investigation into Biden. These constant developments and revelations make it all the more necessary for everyone to follow the news and make informed decisions as we approach the next election cycle. 

Written By: The Editorial Board