“So you get elected as a Republican or a Democrat and the opposite party gets put into the House, That would mean, oh, let’s impeach him. Can’t do it. If you look at the definition of impeachment, that’s a high bar and that would take a long time to fight that if you’re doing a good job. And I’m doing a great job,” explained President Trump in an interview to Bloomberg reporters (Reilly). Furthermore, President Trump stated to Fox News, “If I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash, I think everybody would be very poor”(Reilly). Impeachment is defined as a charge of misconduct made against the holder of a public office (Savage). In 1998, former speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, accused President Clinton of being a disgrace to his office because of the Monica Lewinsky scandal (Trump: I Can’t Be Impeached). A few months later into the year, President Clinton was impeached due to being charged with felony offenses of perjury by lying under oath about having sexual relations with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. Twenty years later, many Democrats believe that President Trump should be impeached. However, can many Democrats suggest that President Trump has committed federal crimes similar to those of President Clinton that are worthy of impeachment? Although many Democrats and members of the far left want President Trump to be impeached for actions such as sexual misconduct or fraud with his election, impeachment still isn’t justified because of the lack of evidence for the federal crimes accused of the President.
First, before arguing if President Trump should be impeached, Americans need to understand how the impeachment process works. According to Article II, Section IV, of the United States Constitution, Congress can expel a president if there is proof that they committed crimes such as “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” (Baltzell). Impeachment starts by having a member of the legislative branch charging a high ranking government official, such as the President, by voting on at least one article of impeachment (Savage). Just because a President gets impeached, it does not mean that they are immediately taken out of office. In fact, impeachment is the initial step to take away a high ranking federal official from office, as it is the approved account of charges against the official (Savage). After the articles of impeachment are passed in the House of Representatives, the high ranking official is sentenced in a trial held by the Senate. The President has lawyers to defend him, and members of the House of Representatives prosecute the president (Savage). If at least ? of the senators plead the president guilty of impeachment, he is taken out of office (New York Times). As a result, the vice president would serve as the president (Savage).
First, President Trump should not be impeached because of the lack of evidence for the sexual misconduct accusations made against him. Before President Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen was fired, he previously said he would “take a bullet” for the President. However, Cohen abandoned “Team Trump” since he doesn’t represent him anymore, and he accused the President of many crimes, such as breaking laws within his campaign finances and fraud. Cohen firmly stated that President Trump scheduled to pay women “hush money” in order to silence them on affairs they had with the President (Trump’s Hush Money).
The first woman was the retired Playboy Playmate, Karen McDougal, who was paid $150,000 to be silent (Trump’s Hush Money). Cohen stated this broke campaign laws because the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 placed limits on campaign funding (Reilly). As a result, Cohen claimed that Trump was guilty because he accused him of using the money to hinder the election results. The second woman Cohen accused Trump of paying off to impact the election results was the adult film star, Stormy Daniels, whose legal name is actually Stephanie Clifford. President Trump paid Clifford $130,000 to silence her from selling her novel about the affair she had with Donald Trump before he was the President (Trump’s Hush Money). Cohen said that Trump paid these two women specifically to “Influence the 2016 presidential election,” which inevitably violates campaign finance law (Fortune). Furthermore, the campaign Federal laws state that candidates have only a $2,700 limit using their own personal funds (Savage). However, Cohen claimed that President Trump violated campaign finance law because he believes that the $130,000 given to Stormy Daniels was used to protect the President from detrimental publicity for his campaign.
However, when arguing for impeachment, one has to understand that committing a campaign finance violation is not the same as perjury (Savage). Perjury was the reason why Bill Clinton was impeached because he said he “didn’t have sexual relations with that woman [Monica Lewinsky],” which was lying under oath (Reilly). In 1998, every Democrat in the Senate voted not to convict President Clinton because they stated that “everybody lies about sex” (Shapiro). Since President Trump is being accused by Democrats that he “lied about sex” through bribery, he shouldn’t be impeached because there would need to be much more evidence that President Trump paid the “hush money” specifically to impact the election, not for his own personal protection (Reilly). In addition, President Trump likely used the “hush money” he gave Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal in order to protect his family from public embarrassment through the media (Reilly). In addition, Cohen secretly recorded President Trump elaborating on the way they will wire the money to McDougal. Although Democrats see this as evidence of President Trump being guilty, it still does not prove what Trump’s purpose was to send the money. In addition, President Trump does have a net worth of $3.1 billion and he is definitely financially stable enough to spend a few hundred thousand dollars for his own protection (Forbes). Trump stated in a Fox News interview that the cash “came from [him]” and they were not campaign funds . Without proof of his intent, there is no way to remove President Trump from office starting with the first step of impeachment (NBC). In order to sentence a president based off finance allegations committed before he was even the president, and only having Cohen’s trust as proof, it would be an extreme challenge to impeach President Trump off the lack of misconduct evidence needed for impeachment.
Despite the accusations of sexual misconduct which lack evidence, President Trump also should not be impeached because of Cohen’s accusations of the President’s alleged collusion with Russia. The Trump Administration and President Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, recently argued that collusion with Russia isn’t illegal, especially due to the fact that the word, “collusion” is extremely vague (Shapiro). However, if the Trump administration colluded with Russia to use its technology to hack into Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign or to alter votes, then impeachment would be constitutional (Shapiro). In addition, if candidates were prohibited from talking to other nations about their research of candidates running, that could easily take away their First Amendment rights: the freedom of speech and the press (Baltzell). However, this is not stating that the Trump administration is off the hook of the Russia investigation, it is just proof that President Trump’s accusers such as Cohen and many other Democrats need much more evidence of illegal activity with Russia in order to impeach the President.
Furthermore, Democrats have recently attempted to charge President Trump with obstruction of justice, due to the fact that they believe Trump tried to inhibit FBI director, Robert Mueller’s probe (Theissen). Even though President Trump referred to this investigation as an “evil witch hunt” on his Twitter, the probe has not actually been affected by Trump’s tirade, according to Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (Fortune). If Democrats are actually eager to get President Trump impeached, their most successful chance for impeachment would be an attempt to charge him for perjury against the President’s son, Donald Trump Jr. Investigators would accuse not President Trump, but his son because they would use him as evidence to convict him as a liar when Donald Trump Jr stated that President Trump was oblivious to the Trump Tower meeting with the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitkaya (Shapiro). If they are lucky, Democrats would try to prosecute Donald Trump Jr. with a conviction of lying under oath in order for him to expose his father about the meeting. Despite the lack of evidence provided for the Russia investigation, President Trump could easily get convicted for a crime if he accidentally exposes himself while ranting on his Twitter. Although, to this day, there is no proof that President Trump had previous knowledge of the meeting or Russia impacting the 2016 election.
Despite the lack of evidence from Russia probe, President Trump also should not be impeached because of the sexual assault accusations which many activists of the #metoo movement have accused him of committing a month before the 2016 election (Relman). To begin, if President Trump did sexually assault anyone in any type of way, he should serve the time he deserves for the crimes under the court of law. However, President Trump claimed that the accusations were “false allegations” and they were made by women who were “paid a lot of money to make up stories about [him]” (Relman). In addition, President Trump stated that mainstream media outlets did not even report the evidence behind the allegations.
As countless sexual assault claims have been made from many famous Hollywood celebrities and politicians, twenty-two women, including his ex-wife, Ivana Trump, made sexual assault claims against President Trump and most were after Trump’s 2005 Access Hollywood tape was leaked. (Relman). In this tape, Trump bragged about grabbing women in the genitals and how easy it because “when you’re a star, they let you do it” (NBC News). When this tape was released, Billy Bush who was beside Trump was fired because of the vulgar language recorded on tape which he reportedly “egged on.” As a result, Bush who was a host of the Today Show was fired because of the way his public image was destroyed from the leaked tape, which violated his contract for bad conduct. Although Bush was fired from his job, Trump still became the President of the United States (NBC News).
Shockingly, most crimes are not impeachable. Although it seems that a President could perhaps be impeached for sexual assault if there was evidence, it would still be a stretch to impeach a president over an alleged sexual assault. This would be a challenge because the Framers of the Constitution specifically restricted impeachment to be interpreted for only treason, bribery, and later included “high crimes and misdemeanors” (NBC News). However, the “high crimes” don’t mean major crimes, it means validated crimes (Shapiro). In addition, impeachment was seen by most Framers of the Constitution as a process used only to interpret political crimes. Therefore, a personal crime is not able to be an impeachable crime if it does not include validated actions (NBC News). Furthermore, when Cohen was Trump’s lawyer in 2015, he responded to Ivana Trump’s allegation as “obviously false” because you “cannot rape your spouse” (Business Insider). Furthermore, since most of these cases were from decades ago and just released a month before the 2016 election, it is likely they were politically motivated and perfectly timed to speak out, which makes them hard to believe that they are credible sources.
Instead of focusing on impeachment, Americans should be optimistic and also focus on the accomplishments of President Trump. President Trump demolished ISIS, and their bases currently don’t even exist anymore (Shapiro). Through his Presidency, the economy has flourished as the stock market broke records during his first two years in office. Under Trump, there have been extremely low unemployment rate statistics and signs of economic growth, while cutting 22 regulations (Shapiro). Trump kept his promise from his campaign that he would make Jerusalem Israel’s capital, which every previous president promised and didn’t accomplish since President Clinton (Shapiro). Trump passed new North Korea agreements, pulled out from the Paris Accords, and was successful with lowering taxes dramatically through his tax reform. Trump enforced his travel ban and made sure that the military is fully funded. Furthermore, Trump nominated 12 court judges, which is a record high number for any previous president of the United States (Shapiro).
Although many Democrats and members of the far left want President Trump to be impeached for actions such as sexual misconduct or fraud with his election, impeachment still isn’t justified because of the lack of evidence for the federal crimes accused of the President. Although President Trump paid off Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal settlements to stay quiet, there was still not enough evidence to tell if President Trump violated campaign finance laws, as he likely wanted personal protection. Even though many conspirators believe that Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election and beat Hillary Clinton, there is still no proof that President Trump had previous knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting or Russia impacting the 2016 election. Even though many Democrats want to impeach President Trump due to the alleged sexual assault claims, there still isn’t enough evidence to prove the President guilty, and sexual assault does not fit the criteria for impeachment made by our founding fathers. Instead of impeaching President Trump, many critics should value the accomplishments he has made so far for America. Although some of President Trump’s actions in the past have not been perfect, such as the Access Hollywood incident, he still should not be impeached because his accusations lack evidence and he has made many impressive accomplishments through his first two years of the presidency.