President Donald Trump is under fire for allegedly violating part of the constitution, resulting in a formal impeachment inquiry in the US House of Representatives. His economic affairs with foreign nations, most recently Ukraine, have led congress to question whether the president has broken the law.
When a president is in the process of being impeached, it means that criminal charges have been brought against them, and it’s the job of the House of Representatives to vote on whether the person in power should remain in office or not. If the members of the house vote to impeach Trump, then a trial will begin in the Senate. This process has only happened four times throughout American History, making this one the fifth.
According to US History teacher Louis Fantini, “this is a very big deal because very few people throughout the course of American history have been alive during an impeachment proceeding.”
The specific charges that Trump is now facing are related to reports of him withholding government money, $391 million to be exact, and using it to pay Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former US Vice President Joe Biden. These allegations, if true, would show that the president violated the Emoluments Clause of the US constitution, which states “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
Over the course of Donald Trump’s presidency, many speculations have been made of him illegally working with foreign nations. Trump was suspected of working with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential campaign and in January of 2019, he was accused of instructing his lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie under oath about other involvements with Russia.
On September 24, 2019, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
The outcome of the potential impeachment of President Trump is still uncertain but hopefully all will be resolved soon, especially with the 2020 presidential elections coming up.
“If this impeachment proceedings go forward,” Fantini continues, “It can potentially serve as a very real, check or limitation on what that executive power looks like.”