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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)
To be able to fully evaluate and form an opinion on this issue, it is important to be able to understand fully the articles being presented in order for impeachment. As so, I will be examining the articles and speaking about them in my own opinion.
First, concerning the firing of the former FBI director James Comey, thereby obstructing justice. Comey was fired early into the Presidents first term, on May 9, 2017. Allegations of Comey looking into Russian interference in the presidential elections of 2016 in Trump’s favor led to his ultimate dismissal from the White House, according to an NBC interview. By firing an official for simply doing his job and looking into all possible injustices, the President leaves unanswered questions in the minds of the American people. By undermining the American people’s ability to address issues within their own government with restricted information because President Trump fired the investigator, the country was left to witness that if there were injustices occurring, they were simply supposed to accept them and move on. Even though the matter is still under investigation now with head of the Special Council on Russian interference with the 2016 elections, Robert Mueller, Comey’s firing is unfortunate and I feel it is a firm reason to incite impeachment.
Though the White House’s official statement was that the firing was due to recommendation of White House leaders, the President was against Comey regardless, as found in a statement that he was going to fire [him] “regardless of recommendation” (Factcheck.org and NBC). This being the case, President Trump then appeared to be somewhat of a tyrant, firing someone based on how much he liked them, instead of how well he or she performed his or her job.
Next, the issue of the President accepting money from foreign powers without approval as well as the money he has made in the United States from the personal businesses, seems to be a conflict of interest. The President’s business ties are international, and as CNN reported, President Trump owns 150 companies in 25 countries ranging in business from beverage sales to Trump Tower projects. The conflict is because the country is allowed to be run by the same foreman with ties to companies that may benefit from his position. Because his businesses are private enterprises, it is difficult to obtain information about them, and so details remain hidden from view, according to Newsweek.
As the daughter of business owners, I have grown up seeing the restrictions applied to businesses. This being the case, I understand that even with President Trump shifting authoritative power of his companies to his children, he still holds much of the power, and he knows what countries could benefit the companies his family members are running. This being said, he most likely benefits from establishing relationships with certain countries and establishing laws or regulations to help protect and further his companies.
This is exactly the type of monopolization and conflict that could arise when putting a business owner instead of a politician into the Presidency position. Though many hoped it wouldn’t, it is now the current situation. Rightfully, the representatives calling for President Trump’s impeachment are worried that there is too much compensation from these businesses for the President to be impartial. Though it may not be illegal for the President to be involved in businesses abroad like this, there is an unavoidable question of ethics and how things look, as noted by CNN.
Last, let’s address undermining the freedom of press as the final article presented for the President’s impeachment. As commonly stated, the President believes all information presented opposing his actions or viewpoints to be “fake news.” The issue with this is that many citizens who follow the President whole-heartedly believe that his allegations are true. With the integrity of journalists and those in media in question because of the President’s accusations, information presented to the American people now seems to need vetting to ensure that no liberal or republican bias takes over. However, media professionals should not have to fear White House officials who may have the ability to destroy their messages, their media careers or companies because they disagree with the President. The truth can only be told if all views are allowed to be shared equally. For the President of the United States to not want opinions to be heard is oppression in the purest form.
I believe that the evidence to support an impeachment of the President of the United States’ leaves his position rightfully in question, with the issues presented here being just a few of the reasons that concern many American citizens. Two presidents have been impeached (Presidents Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson) in the history of the United States Government. Now with the support of the American people and their respective representatives, the process of impeaching Donald Trump will begin before the end of the year.