Editorial: Impeaching ‘Mr. President’
Only two presidents have been impeached in the history of the United States. The first was Andrew Johnson in 1868 and the second was Bill Clinton in 1998. Both impeachments occurred under dubious circumstances, and neither president was convicted of any crime.
Evidence suggests that Richard Nixon, in the wake of Watergate, would have been convicted and removed from the presidency for obstruction of justice. Perhaps because of this, he formally resigned in 1974, before a trial could occur. He is the only president to resign from office.
On Sept. 24, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif.) moved to open articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. Several committees within the House were formed to examine the claims that Trump allegedly conspired with the Ukrainian government to track personal information concerning former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The anonymous CIA “whistleblower,” who first provided evidence of any potential wrong-doing, reports that Trump abused his presidential powers in an effort to gain an advantage in the 2020 presidential election. Inquiries are ongoing and will likely continue to garner national attention for months.
At The Lookout, we believe any public official who engages in illegal activity ought to be impeached and removed from office. However, while the claims against Trump are undoubtedly serious in nature, there is no guarantee he will be convicted if a trial ever reaches the Senate.
Impeachment, as detailed in the constitution, is a long and complex process rife with potential political stagnation. If an impeachment inquiry successfully moves out of the House, the accused is put on trial in the U.S. Senate with the Supreme Court presiding. From there, two-thirds of the Senate must vote to convict the accused.
The Lookout staff does not believe Trump will be removed from office as a result of the impeachment charges brought against him. This opinion reflects the nature of impeachment, not Trump’s supposed innocence or guilt concerning the current investigations.