Impeachment inquiry against President Trump sparks national debate

President Trump speaks at a rally in April. Recent rallies in Minneapolis have caused controversy following the impeachment inquiry.

Creative Commons image through Flickr by Michael Steeber

President Trump speaks at a rally in April. Recent rallies in Minneapolis have caused controversy following the impeachment inquiry.

Austin Fierro, Online Editor

The system meant to keep the country together is ironically what divides it the most: politics. Following a phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky of Ukraine, which seemed to suggest that President Trump would withhold financial aid from Ukraine until Ukraine launched an investigation into Trump’s rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter, Democratic leaders submitted an impeachment inquiry against the President. This move has sent the country into national debate over whether the Democrats were correct in launching the inquiry. Republicans saw the inquiry as a chance to reverse the 2016 election and influence the 2020 election, as Trump wrote in a letter to the House. The Democrats’ decision to launch an impeachment inquiry was a hasty decision, and the Democrats would have been better off waiting until all the facts were presented.

Trump’s phone call transcript never explicitly states that Trump wanted Zelensky to investigate the Bidens for Trump’s personal gain. In the phone call transcript, Trump mentions that Joe Biden “went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution,” and asked Zelensky to investigate. While this may have been a plan to find out something to discredit his rivals, it is clear that there was a legal incentive as Biden supposedly got rid of a prosecutor that had some relation to his son.

If that is the case, the investigation is perfectly valid as Biden would have committed an illegal act that needs investigating. If that is not the case, then it can be inferred that Trump wanted the investigation done to improve his own chances of winning. The mention of an investigation was a risky move that allowed Democrats to seize the opportunity and launch an inquiry.

The launching of the inquiry comes across as opportunistic by the Democrats. Many Democrats say that regardless of the validity of the Ukraine scandal, Trump has committed multiple impeachable offenses already and thus the inquiry could be launched anyways. Seth Abramson, a columnist for Newsweek, wrote in a tweet that “Trump has committed 25+ impeachable offenses”. However, if that is the case, Democrats could and should have begun this inquiry after the 6th or 7th offense.

If the Ukraine scandal fails to hold up as a reason for impeachment, the Democrats will battle with the Republicans by pulling out every other impeachable offense, which will draw scrutiny as voters question why Democrats have waited until now to launch the inquiry.

The opposing side would argue that Trump has committed multiple impeachable offenses before, and thus the inquiry is valid. However, if that is the case, the question is raised as to why the inquiry was held off instead of being launched as soon as several impeachable acts were committed. If the Democrats’ goal was to impeach the President, they should have launched the inquiry after the first or second offense. It appears that they were waiting until a time close to the election to launch it in order to influence the election, regardless of whether the inquiry was valid or not. If voters knew this, it would influence their views of the Democratic Party, and could cause the Party’s plans to backfire.

Although Democrats intend to impeach Trump and gain leverage in the 2020 election, they failed to realize the risk they were taking in doing so. If the Ukraine scandal turns out to be bogus, the Democrats’ plan could seriously backfire. The Democrats should have waited for all the facts to be presented before taking such drastic action, and they may live to regret it.