Political Science department presents open forum about Trump’s impeachment

Students and Faculty Members listen intently to statement during the open forum about Trump's impeachment. The Political Science program occasionally present these forums for the student body.

23 students and faculty members joined together to discuss the recent impeachment proceedings that have been brought against President Donald Trump. The event was meant to be an open discussion where people could ask professors questions about impeachment and present their opinions about what they believe should happen.  Dr. Cheryl Van Den Handel, assistant professor of political science, began the discussion by defining what impeachment is and the many steps involved in the process.

“We are at the beginning of that procedure where to intelligence committees are running down evidence that have been brought to their attention,” said Handel. “If they decide that the burdens of the argument are significant, they will write articles of impeachment. Currently, we have not reached the aspect of removing him from office. The articles of impeachment have not been written yet because the investigation is not completed.”

A controversial aspect of impeachment is that regardless of the evidence brought against Trump, it will still have to be voted on by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Currently, the Senate who would remove him from office is controlled by the Republican party, of which Trump resides. Dr. Chris Weaver, assistant professor of political science, brought this up during the discussion, stating that the careers of these individuals may be on the line if they were to vote against their own party.

“Because this is a political decision, partisanship is a huge factor,” said Weaver. “The members of the Republican party can hurt their own careers for voting against the president.”

Dr. Daniel Savage, professor of political science, expands on this point by stating that the entire process of impeachment, if unsuccessful, could actually help the Republican party during the 2020 presidential election.

“What could happen is the Democrats will impeach him, but he could be found innocent by the Republican senate which in turn could lead to Trump gaining popularity and ground,” said Savage.

In response, Brinley Hutson, Jenks senior, thinks a wise move for the Democratic party would be to just do their best to dig up as much dirt on Trump as possible. This would include adding anything negative they could find into the impeachment articles.

“It’s pretty safe to say that Trump will not get impeached due to the extreme requirements in senate,” said Hutson. “Maybe it is in the Democrats favor to just do their best to smear Trump by adding as many condemning things as possible.”

Ultimately to conclude the forum, Jason Nichols, instructor of political science, brings up historical evidence that while this may sound like a good idea, it could also backfire on the Democrats.

“If you do throw everything at them, you run the risk of creating a martyr for their cause and raising their public appeal,” said Nichols. “When [Clinton] left office following his impeachment proceedings, many believe that he was able to beat the odds and he came out on top with a very high public appeal rating.”

For more upcoming forums and Political Science events, email Handel at vandenha@nsuok.edu.

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