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The impeachment inquiry could have different benefits or fallbacks for the Republican party.

Liz Riccio | Contributing writer

Opinion | Republicans should support the impeachment inquiry

Tensions within our government under Trump’s presidency have culminated in an all-time high with the announcement that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has officially declared a formal impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. This historic process commenced at the end of September and is dominating the national media coverage and forcing politicians to take to the airwaves and social media to take their stands. The president himself tweeted, “Not only are the Do Nothing Democrats interfering in the 2020 Election, but they are continuing to interfere in the 2016 Election. They must be stopped!”

One may wonder if there’s any way this investigation, which could remove the president from office, could benefit the Republican Party. One might also wonder why Trump is showing such strong defiance towards the investigation when following this process to its conclusion could be used as an effective tool for Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign.

Currently, the Republicans have a majority in the Senate, and the Democrats have a majority in the House. So, what does this mean for the impeachment process? 

Well, there are currently House committees working to draft articles of impeachment based on their strongest evidence of the president’s behavior, which they argue is inappropriate at best and treasonous at worst. Once these articles of impeachment are sent to the full House, a floor debate and vote are held. Since the Democrats control the House, it’s likely that the necessary majority will concur that the president should be impeached. But, this isn’t where the process ends. In fact, this is where the process begins to look interesting for President Trump. 

In order for Trump to be removed from office, two-thirds of the Republican-held Senate must vote to convict him. The odds of this happening are extremely low for a multitude of reasons. 

Republicans currently control the White House and the Senate. This means Republicans have the power to stop any legislative agenda the Democrats pursue while also having the advantage in pushing their own agenda — no party would want to give up that power. Secondly, Trump has elicited a huge base of support among Republican senators following his 2016 election, as many owe their strengthened positions to his popularity. If these senators were to vote in support of Trump’s impeachment, they could easily anger the Republican base and instigate, via a split vote among lesser-known opposing Republican candidates, the loss of Republican seats in the Senate come the next election. The Democrats would most likely gain the contested seats in the Senate, thus causing a flip from red to blue in the control of Congress. 

Since Republicans will act in a way that guarantees them the most power, Trump can feel at ease in his position. If the inquiry comes without a conviction, Trump will capitalize on his “witch hunt” claims, present himself as a victim of the Democrat’s unfair overreach, and he’ll undoubtedly invigorate his base. The odds are he’ll also see his poll numbers increase across the board leading up to the 2020 election. 

If Congress fights a fierce battle to convict him and gleans no results, then who has more power than Trump? His presidency may permanently be remembered as controversial due to this investigation, but if nobody can oust him from office, his supporters will feel confident in his ability to keep the Republicans in power and will turn up in droves to vote for him and his Congressional allies come November 2020. So, Republicans shouldn’t be worried about the impeachment inquiry, but rather, should stay the course with the process until it comes to its expected close. Trump’s base will feel that they have overcome an unfair attack, and failing to impeach the president may result in another Republican victory in the 2020 election.

Liz Riccio is a freshman media arts and design major. Contact Liz at riccioem@dukes.jmu.edu.

Rebecca Cutsinger | Contributing writer

Republicans shouldn’t support the impeachment inquiry

There are many misconceptions about the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump. It’s a complicated story that boils down to a political maneuver: the Democrats trying to impact the 2020 election. For this reason, the Republicans shouldn’t support it.

Some think Republicans should support the impeachment inquiry because if Trump truly didn’t have anything to hide, “no harm, no foul,” and it’d make the Democrats look bad if they fail. However, the Democrats have proven that, even when they fail, they fabricate so much uncertainty that the public is told to ignore the official findings. For instance, one should look at the Russia probe. Robert Mueller found no evidence Trump colluded with Russia, yet the Democrats can’t accept that because it doesn’t fit their agenda. They tell their supporters they should read between the lines — “just because there’s no evidence doesn’t mean he didn’t do it.” Based on the U.S. justice system, no evidence and no indictment does mean he didn’t do it. This inquiry is the Russia probe all over again. There’s no factual standing, and if Republicans fall into this trap, the Democrats will spin the results their way, no matter the outcome, and it'll unfairly and negatively impact the 2020 election.

Trump has been accused ofusing the Presidency as leverage with Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son in a phone call. He was accused of threatening to withhold defense money from Ukraine unless they helped investigate Biden. Trump released the transcript from the conversation he had with Ukraine, which proves he did no such thing. He did, however, ask for a favor, that Ukraine would cooperate with the investigation process against Crowdstrike, a Ukrainian company that housed a DNC server that was allegedly connected to possible corruption by the Obama administration during the 2016 election. 

Trump was simply doing his job by asking Ukraine to do him a favor and get the Ukrainian company to cooperate. The transcript proves that he never spoke of withholding funds. In the phone call, the conversation then shifts, and the president of Ukraine brings up Rudy Giuliani, the former NYC Mayor and personal attorney for Trump. The current scandal that surrounds Biden is briefly mentioned. This is long after the conversation involving a favor had ended. Trump never asked for a favor regarding Biden, and anyone can read the transcript and see that.

Republicans shouldn't support an inquiry that’s clearly a political maneuver. Democrat Representative Adam Schiff has led the talks of impeachment and has been caught, once aboutdirect quotes made by the president where he misrepresented what Trump said and once when helied about having previous contact with the whistleblower. Schiff publicly stated that he “regretted” lying. The whistleblower’s comment is what brought the idea that Trump had this conversation with Ukraine to the public. Having many conversations with a clear opponent of the President before going public with this information proves this is a political maneuver.

Republicans shouldn’t support something that is clearly a partisan play to remove the president and challenge his legitimacy. The majority of states elected him for a reason — he wasn’t a politician, and he wasn’t going to play political games, which is exactly what the Democrats are doing.

The impeachment inquiry isn’t bipartisan; the founding fathers created impeachment as a safety net for when the President is accused of wrongdoing. But, because this is a partisan political stunt, there hasn’t been an official vote to start the impeachment process. Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats know they don’t have factual standing and that it’s not bipartisan. Pelosi herselfstated, “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path because it divides the country.”

They’re trying to please their base with talks of impeachment since their base wants Trump out of office, even if he didn’t do anything wrong. This is anti-democratic because he’s a legitimate president; he was elected fairly. They think that if they use smoke and mirrors to talk about impeachment long enough, public opinion will change. Republicans can’t fall into that trap. They’re trying to affect the 2020 election by hurting Trump’s reputation. The next election is right around the corner. If Democrats truly thought that the country was with them and everyone or enough people hated Trump, then they wouldn’t be worried about the 2020 election and would vote on starting the official impeachment process. By the way they have not...everything so far has been mere threats to do so. They wouldn’t have to fabricate a story about Russia or Ukraine. Trump has a strong base and the Democrats are scared. Republicans can’t stand by and let the Democrats make things up and paint Trump as the perpetual bad guy. The country has had enough of their games, and they can wait one year if they want to justly remove him from office.

Rebecca Cutsinger is a freshman media arts and design major. Contact Rebecca at cutsinrj@dukes.jmu.edu.