By: Anna Taché
If you have been paying attention to the news at all for the past few weeks, you’ll know that President Trump, after facing his scheduled House Judiciary hearings, has been impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, and is currently in the midst of the Senate impeachment trial. Thanks to these hearings, Trump is now the third president in American history to have been impeached. To sum up what prompted these House Judiciary hearings, essentially a whistleblower claimed that last July, Trump, on a phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, pressured the Ukrainian government to launch a “politically charged” investigation. Trump wanted two things: to prove that Ukraine politicians tried to sway American voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and for the Ukrainian government to investigate one of his 2020 election rivals Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who had worked on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma. Since the allegation was made public, other witnesses have come forward to confirm the claims and the White House released a summary of the call that describes President Trump asking Ukraine for a favor. At the time of the phone call, Trump had already suspended almost $400 million in US military aid to Ukraine.
Photo Credit: Al Jazeera
Now, because this article is an editorial, you, as the reader, are most likely expecting me to state my opinion on this subject. Well, here you go: I believe that Trump’s impeachment is well deserved. There have been multiple issues that he has caused or allegations that surround him, and I’m here to break them down for you. First of all, the Ukraine scandal: what’ caused these impeachment trials in the first place. My biggest issue with the entire situation is that Trump pressured Ukraine, which desperately needed the US’s help to fend off Russian aggression, to target citizens for his own personal gain. Not is that only just a general invasion of privacy, but the fact that Trump was willing to exploit US citizens in order to excel in the 2020 election is painfully disappointing, but honestly not surprising based on his track record.
Although Trump was impeached based on his abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, there is one important thing that I believe he should have been impeached for: the sexual misconduct allegations. The Huffington Post currently has a frequently updated article that contains a list of women who have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct. As of October 2019, that list currently contains 25 names, including many former Miss Universe contestants, a former staff member of Trump’s presidential campaign, as well as his ex-wife, Ivana Trump. Trump, being the person that he is, has aggressively denied all of these claims, calling the victims “liars.”
However, as of November, evidence has been discovered that links to one of the claims. Former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos claimed that Trump had repeatedly touched, groped, and kissed her on multiple occasions in late 2007 and early 2008. Trump has denied these allegations, saying that he had never met her at a hotel, which is one of the claims made by Zervos. However, calendar entries and cell phone records from that time period have been released to the court, and the evidence is suggesting otherwise. The cellphone records released November 5 show that for a three-month period between 2007 and 2008, Trump had made multiple calls to Zervos, including one on December 21, 2007 at 3:02 p.m., which was 2 minutes after his flight was scheduled to land in Los Angeles. This validates Zervos’s claim that Trump had called her after he had landed in Los Angeles and asked her to meet him at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where he later sexually assaulted her. Trump’s calendar showed that he did, in fact, stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel on December 21, 2007 – the same day in which he called Zervos from the airport.
Although Trump has consistently denied all claims made against him, and very aggressively and inappropriately might I add, the fact that 25 women have come forward saying that they have had similar encounters with Trump is a better indicator of the truth than the loaded language of President Trump. I get it – he’s our president and you wanna respect him or whatever. But when it comes to an issue as serious as sexual assault, listening to and believing the survivors is important, even when the person they’re accusing is in a position of power. Men in power taking advantage of women isn’t a new concept: we’ve seen it very recently with the cases of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, R. Kelly, etc. So why is it so hard to believe that even our president could commit similar acts? It’s time that we, as both a country and a society, start believing victims rather than calling them liars and victim-blaming.
So ultimately, I believe that Trump’s impeachment was very well-deserved, and in all honesty, I think he deserves more of a punishment. He has been abusing his power since he came into office, and he rarely settles out issues over anything more than a poorly-worded tweet. I believe it’s time for us, as a country, to move on from this embarrassment of a president and finally kick Trump (and Pence as well, he’s no better) out of office for good.