COLUMN: Impeachment is a touchy subject

You must know the history of impeachment before you can favor or dis-favor it

I would personally give anyone 50 dollars if they could name the first person impeached by the House of Representatives. Or I’d make a simpler bet for 10 dollars. Name the article and sections in the Constitution which gives Congress the right to impeach and remove.

If you guessed Tennessee state senator William Blount and Article One, sections II and III, then I guess I owe you 60 dollars.

Many people believe the first person to be impeached was Andrew Johnson, or even Bill Clinton, but in fact, it was a U.S. senator from Tennessee. He was charged with conspiracy to assist Great Britain’s attempt to seize Spanish controlled territories within the U.S. This happened in 1799.

Congress has the right to impeach any federal worker that was elected or appointed to office. This includes federal judges, Congressmen, the president’s cabinet, and of course the president themselves.

Since the first impeachment it took President Andrew Johnson 69 years to be the sixth person to be impeached by the House of Representatives. Before him were senators, judges on district courts, and even a United States Supreme Court Justice.

If we look back to what happened to former President Andrew Johnson, a law was put in place called the Tenure of Office Act so Johnson could not fire any cabinet member who was probably controlling the reconstruction in the south and making it hard for democrats. But that is only my guess.

Johnson removed Secretary of War Edwin Stanton who, at the time, was the head of reconstruction in the south. Thus, the impeachment process began.

The articles of impeachment were filed Feb. 25, 1868, and voted on in March. This was a big deal as it was the first time the person in the highest position was vulnerable of losing their job. How is this a bigger deal than now and what happened to Clinton? Well the 25th amendment speaks of the secession of power and some other fancy things like renaming a vice president, plus the removal of the president in different ways other than impeachment, but that’s not important.

This amendment was ratified in 1967, almost 100 years since Johnson. That means there may have been some trouble finding a new president after Johnson since he was vice to Abraham Lincoln. Luckily for Johnson, the senators voted on party lines 66-34 and he got to keep the presidency.

Okay I know, “Ry, that is a lot of history.” Listen, you have to understand this to know what would happen to President Trump after the articles of impeachment, impeachment itself, and possibly removal.

President Trump has 23 pending articles of impeachment under his name, but the two sub-committees will investigate and see how many high-crimes and/or misdemeanors get stuck to him.

After the investigations by the two committees, the vote will go to the House floor. The president needs to get less than 218 votes on all articles to not face trial in the senate. This is particularly hard because there are 235 house democrats at the moment.

If it makes it to the senate, President Trump will have to get subpoenaed and show up to testify and answer questions in front of the senate jury and judge.

This is when it gets risky. To remove him, it would take 67 votes also known as the super majority of the senate. This is basically to make sure what they are doing is the right choice for the people of the United States.

Here are some facts about the last impeachment and trial of a president. The opposing party lost five seats in the House even though polling showed they would gain in the midterms of Bill Clinton’s presidency.

Clinton’s impeachment was a lame duck presidency, so compared to Trump’s this is far different. Maybe the articles of impeachment and the trial are to help the democratic party, by taking away the president from his campaign trail and hurt his polling.

This could be a problem, yet I don’t find it to be because Trump is one of the only presidents to campaign over the course of his presidency. Also, the fact that Trump has blown off this entire issue like it is not a big deal on twitter, has his followers satisfied that it is a ‘witch hunt.’

An NPR Oct. 8 poll is showing that 49% favor impeachment and 47% disagree of it, but when it comes down to removal, polls are split 48% even. A major percentage say the people should settle the presidency at the polls either by voting, or not for President Trump. If it comes to the worst and the 45th president of the United States becomes the first ever to be removed from office, the Vice President, Mike Pence would take over.

Mike Pence was the former governor of Indiana. While governor he supported the use of federal funding to treat people who were “seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

Pence also had the tendency to favor different-sex marriage only bills when he was governor. Like HJR-3 in 2014. This was the amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

While as Vice President, Pence also started off voting controversially as the 101st vote beating the tie of 50-50 to add, Michigan’s own, Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education. Pence was probably thinking, someone needs to protect us from those bears.

If Pence were to take over, I don’t think he would have enough time to announce that he would run for re-election and I don’t think he would get the support. Plus he would have almost no time to get anything done as acting president if Trump was removed. My overall concern is, is this going to affect the election of 2020? Could it hurt the democrats who may lose seats in the Senate and House for favoring the impeachment. Will Donald Trump lose the election because of his absence on the campaign trail because of a possible trial? Or is it going to matter what the definition of is ‘is’ again?