Removal of the president from office is generally the end-goal for the impeachment process.
Impeachment is the process of launching charges of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” in the House of Representatives. The House then votes on the charges (or articles of impeachment); a majority vote sends the charges to the Senate for a trial. A two-thirds majority in the Senate is required for a conviction that could result in a removal from office.
Is impeachment an appropriate next step for President Trump, considering the guilty pleas from Michael Cohen?
We’ll consider Cohen’s plea on the Trump tower/ Moscow connection as more information comes from the Mueller investigation. For this debater, we’ll take a look at Cohen’s admission in court regarding money that was exchanged in order to prevent two women from talking about past affairs with Mr. Trump.
Impeachment is not appropriate.
the crime is not serious enough
Cohen broke campaign finance laws by paying off two women who might have embarrassed Trump during his campaign for president, and jeopardized his election to office. Cohen said he did this at the direction of the president.
The basis of the criminal charge is campaign finance rules. Campaign finance rules are important but does breaking them mean that the president should be tossed out of office?
Trump calls the exchange of money a “simple private transaction.”
lack of voter support
It’s time to consider charges against President Trump.
campaign finance rules
Campaign finance rules were enacted in order to provide transparency during the election process. The idea is: voters should know where campaigns are being funded. It was also determined that there was too much opportunity for conflict of interest when companies were allowed to contribute to political campaigns, and therefore these donations are carefully regulated.
In the Cohen situation, a secret payment made to keep two stories from surfacing could have a huge effect and direct effect on a tight election. Could a scandal turn off enough voters to have changed the outcome of the election? In this race, it seems possible.
The framers of the Constitution had a strict view on maintaining the integrity of the election process as a foundational component of democracy.
Trump has been hiding the truth
Trump and his White House have spent at least a year hiding the “simple private transaction” from the public. For example, Trump has gone on record to publicly deny his knowledge of payments to Stormy Daniels, which is a direct contradiction of Michael Cohen’s testimony.
Bill Clinton also lied to the American people when he said, repeatedly, that he did not have an affair with Monica Lewinsky. He faced impeachment for perjury and obstruction of justice.