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We are addressing the following in two opposing opinions:
On Nov. 15th, members of House Democrats signed and presented five articles of impeachment against President Trump. One Congressman, Steve Cohen, who represents the 9th District of Tennessee, introduced these articles which are as follows –
1) Obstruction of justice which deals with Mr. [James] Comey’s (former FBI Director) firing.
2) Violation of the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments clause, which deals with monies he’s taken from foreign powers without the consent of Congress.
3) Violation of the Domestic Emoluments clause, which deals with monies he’s made from the United States and his personal businesses’ beyond that of his salary, which is also forbidden by our Constitution.
4) Undermining Independence of the Federal Judiciary and the Rule of Law.
5) Undermining Freedom of the Press.
(CNN, Nov. 26, 2017)
The House Democrats who support this measure to impeach President Trump believe that he has violated his duties as president and in turn, has disregarded the sanctity that is the constitution.
I would like to go through each of these points and offer refuting statements so as to clarify and bring light to the reasons behind President Trump’s actions.
First off, there is the whole debate with the firing of James Comey on May 9, 2017 and the reasoning behind it. Some say that the President fired him because he was looking into the alleged Russian interference with the election results that could have benefited President Trump. Another reason Comey is said to have been fired is because President Trump just didn’t like Comey, stating in a Lester Holt interview that he was going to fire [him] “regardless of recommendation” (NBC).
However, according to the official White House statement that was released to the public on May 9, the main reason behind firing Comey was because of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Session’s recommendations to do so.
Rosenstein and Session’s recommendation to fire Comey was based off of his handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, giving her a “free pass” so to speak. So the decision to fire the former FBI Director was understandable – backed up with a combination of the President’s forethought and the disapproval of Comey’s decision making skills by Rosenstein and Session.
Regarding the foreign and domestic emoluments clause issue, an article in Time Magazine said the reason this is a problem is because “the President has significant conflicts of interest within his real estate empire since taking office.” However, the Justice Department reports that previous presidents such as George Washington conducted business during his presidency by selling harvests to England, Portugal and Jamaica (Time). The Department states that personal businesses, like Washington’s crop dealings, in no way affect presidential powers, according to Time.
Also, it is true that the President has had some business dealings with Russian organizations. This is because he cannot receive loans from large American banks, so he borrows money from other sources, including private banks and outside organizations. One Russian source in particular, Bayrock Group, has had a history of criminal involvements related to financial benefits (Politifact). Financial dealing issues are in no way limited to the Republican Party. Accoring to the NY Times, the party that is fighting against President Trump seems to forget that the Clinton Foundation has been involved in problematic stances as well, accepting “tens of millions of dollars from countries that… [have been] criticized for their records on sex discrimination and other human-rights issues.”
Furthermore, there is evidence that the President does not have direct ties to these scandalous businesses. Politifact states “that oligarchs have been involved in his business dealings, but mostly through intermediary companies that own a financial stake in his projects. That’s different from a direct loan.” Also, Politifact also addresses that according to the Kriss suit, “there is no evidence that Donald Trump took any part in, or knew of, [Bayrock’s] racketeering.”
In addition, according to Time and Business Insider, President Trump handed his various companies over to his three eldest children so he could concentrate on helping fix the problems within the nation. He is coming up with policies that are beneficial to the public, especially in regards to the economy. One of these policies, the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, aims to “stimulate manufacturing in the US, decrease the trade deficit, and propose policies to create jobs and boost the economy.”
With the judicial system, presidents picking candidates according to their belief system is no new news. Take former President Obama for example. The New Yorker states that: “when Obama took office, Republican appointees controlled ten of the thirteen circuit courts of appeals; Democratic appointees now constitute a majority in nine circuits” and as such, “nearly all of Obama’s judges will continue serving well after he leaves office.” CNBC states that “Trump will get to fill the most federal judiciary vacancies in 40 years.”
Sadly, news in general can never be fair. According to the Washington Post, “Seven percent of journalists are Republicans” and “Democrats outnumber Republicans four to one.” Media bias is a real thing, and many times it appears as if journalists are out to attack President Trump, not asking questions that are unbiased. While the President cannot do anything regarding journalist’s opinions, he has the right to answer questions to those involved in media who are trustworthy and can write a fair story.
I believe that everyone has the right to express their political beliefs, but in a professional environment, those beliefs must be factual and accurate, bias not interfering within the public’s consumption of news.
Impeachment is a laborious process. The main point of impeachment is indictment of certain charges, and so far, President Trump hasn’t been convicted of any crime as there is no solid evidence. One law professor, Christopher Peterson, says that “there hasn’t been a clear smoking gun” as reported in Time.
Nancy Pelosi, a Democratic House Minority Leader, also thinks that the President should not be impeached. She says that his impeachment shouldn’t be a priority in the world of politics and that if any evidence shows that President Trump is worthy of impeachment, then that’s when action should occur.
“I believe that, whatever we do, we have a responsibility, first and foremost, to unify the nation. Second of all, you can’t go down any path without the facts and the law. If that’s there, perhaps it will come out in these investigations,” Pelosi said in a CBS report.
I think the thing to take away from this issue is that it’s important to do research and to formulate your own opinion. However, I believe that we all just need to give the President a chance.
These articles that the House Democrats are placing against the President are, in my opinion, not worthy enough of impeachment. Throughout the years, politicians have been involved in numerous wrongdoings. While these actions are inexcusable, what President Trump has done before and during his presidency are quite miniscule compared to other scandals.
Many of his political activities are in the gray area – some people seeing them in a positive light, others seeing them in negativity. I believe we as the American people should keep an eye out for these warning signs that suggest a greater threat to our society. But as for now, the President has not done anything that should cause for impeachment.
Both parties need to come together. We are what make America great. After all, the power of the people is greater than the people in power. I think the thing to take away from this issue is that it’s important to do research and to formulate your own opinion. However, I also believe that we all just need to give the President a chance.