Word on the Street: Rowan students react to President Trump’s impeachment inquiry

Image by Tara Lonsdorf

The threat of impeachment now looms over President Donald Trump after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives will initiate a formal impeachment inquiry against him last Tuesday.

The inquiry comes after a phone call between President Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky was made public, in which Trump said that “there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution… so if you can look into it… it sounds horrible to me.” 

The resulting call prompted a CIA operative to issue a formal whistleblower complaint to the Department of Justice in August. In an effort to mediate the scope of the scandal, the White House published the transcript of the phone call confirming the whistleblower’s complaint and forcing the House to act on impeachment.

While Trump’s request that Zelensky ‘dig up dirt’ on Joe Biden, who is a potential political opponent for Trump in the 2020 presidential election, was a misuse of his power, not everyone believes it warrants impeachment.

Junior music composition major Ryan Claire, said that he does not see the inquiry getting past the Senate.

“I see it getting through the House, but I don’t see it getting through the Senate. I read that 30 Republicans would consider voting for impeachment if it was a blind vote,” said Claire, hinting that members of the Senate would only be against impeachment due to their name being attached to the vote.

The phone call occurred within a week of Trump ordering nearly $400 million of aid to Ukraine be frozen, as well as around the same time Robert Mueller testified before Congress. Many believe that the request made by Trump was pressuring Zelensky into cooperating with his requests to obtain the aid.

“I think it is grounds for impeachment,” sophomore music industry major, Ryan Bergan said. “He was, in a sense, threatening to withhold aid so he could get a political buff. He’s clearly abusing his power.”

The “talk” about Joe Biden is in reference to unsubstantiated claims that he pressured the Ukrainian government into firing their top prosecutor Viktor Shokin. Shokin was allegedly investigating a private gas company that Biden’s son, Hunter, was working for. A claim that has been largely been denied by Joe Biden and proven to be false.

The allegations against Trump are highly momentous, and are, in a sense, overshadowing the false allegations made by Trump against Biden. The high focus on the actions of Trump have some fearing that the potential, unsubstantiated, wrongdoings by Biden are possibly going to be swept under the rug.

“I worry that with the impeachment inquiry, the other side with Joe might be ignored,” said Claire, “That should be looked into too.”

Aside from the actions of the Biden family, people are also calling for the whistleblower themselves to be looked into. Trump, and his defenders, have stated that the whistleblower only had a second hand account of the call, and that there may have been treason committed by whoever informed the whistleblower of the call.

Trump has claimed that much of the whistleblower complaint is “second-hand…wrong… totally inaccurate… and presented in a fraudulent way.”

Trump also said during a private event, that he “wants to know who’s the person… who gave the whistle-blower the information? Because that’s close to a spy.” Trump went on to say, “You know what we used to do in the old days [to spies]?”

While Trump obviously has to defend himself, some believe that he is acting inappropriate in his defense, including Representative Adam Schiff.

Schiff said, that “That kind of incitement to violence is only going to chill other witnesses when they come forward. And that is its very intent, to intimidate the witnesses.”

While a formal impeachment inquiry has been made, the House Judiciary Committee must vote to approve articles of impeachment before it even reaches the House of Representatives, which could take months. Whether through impeachment or in the ballot box, Donald Trump’s political future remains to be clear.

 For comments/questions about this story, email news@thewhitonline.com or tweet @TheWhitOnline