By Amani Rivers
William Penn Charter
The impeachment drama is over, and Donald Trump still resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. So, the question now is what will be the fallout from House Democrats’ attempt to remove the president from office?
The acquittal of the president on two articles of impeachment by the Senate — the abuse of power and the obstruction of Congress — was never in serious doubt.
However, the ongoing battle for congressional power in Washington and subsequent legal fights as House Democrats continue to investigate Trump and some of his business interests are just beginning.
Kristen Ostendorf, a Penn Charter history teacher, says the impeachment aftermath is a mixed bag.
“One of the lessons learned after the Clinton impeachment was that Republicans were punished at the polls after his impeachment trial in the Senate,” said Ostendorf. “They were the ones who sustained a lot of losses in the following election, and it did seem like Nancy Pelosi was weighing the cost to the Democrats.”
While Democrats may see impeachment a permanent stain on the Trump presidency, there could be a backlash as the President’s Republican base now seems to be more energized.
“I think impeachment definitely will benefit the Republican Party more,” said Gabrielle Polite, vice president at Penn Charter. “The Democratic Party used lots of time and energy to handle impeachment without being able to come together as a party.”
However, Polite does believe that President Trump “did several things that were illegal” and could have been convicted on both articles of impeachment.
“Democrats wanted to impeach Trump for who he is as a person, and not necessarily for what he did,” said Patrick Cannon, president of Penn Charter’s Young Republican club. “While I think there are [legitimate concerns] on what he did, it really didn’t constitute grounds for impeachment.”
Senior Troi Rutherford said Democrats were “actively looking for something and some way to convict Trump.” She said the Democrats’ plan was always to try to get him out of office because they see him as a threat to the country.
The impeachment efforts could also affect the battle for control of the Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow majority. Democrats can take control by picking up four additional seats in November.
Said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “Our country is great, the American people are wonderful, we’re a resilient country, we can withstand one term, but the destruction that he would do to the courts of our country and the environment – he must be defeated.”