President Donald Trump was acquitted on both articles of impeachment by the Senate after failing to reach a supermajority on Feb. 5. Trump was accused by the House of Representatives of abuse of power and obstruction of congress.
“Three out of the four presidential impeachments in history have occurred in what I consider to be my relatively short lifetime,” said Michael Smith, chair of social sciences. “It seems to be that we have never been so consumed over the opinions on one person.”
Smith, who had just taken a group of students to observe the Iowa Caucus, said that the attention of the nation seemed divided.
“It seemed like the people who voted were voting whether they were pro or anti-Trump and the impeachment was a background issue,” Smith said. “I think this will certainly be one of those memorable moments in history, but what are you supposed to say about it?”
According to Smith, he has never seen another president promote their brand as much as Trump has.
“Everyone has an ego of some type, you must have one to be a politician,” Smith said. “But you can be consumed by ego and self-interest…we’ve had some presidents with massive personalities in the past, but Trump far exceeds them.”
As the results of the trial were published, some students were not surprised by the results.
“I think with how messed up the process was by rule setting the impeachment trail ended up looking like another day of normal business, which it shouldn’t be,” said Jason Buck, senior political science major. “There were no surprises really. The entire trail was conducted along partisan lines…people need to look beyond their media feed and get more involved and pay closer attention.”
Three other presidents have been charged with impeachment, but only two of them were successfully removed.
“I wasn’t surprised at all (that there was no collaboration across party lines),” said John Barnett, associate professor of social sciences. “I think a lot of people are facing ‘Trump fatigue,’ but they don’t see an alternative. I think the independents need to be looked at (this election).”