Political science professor: ‘Impeachment is just the first step’


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – The House Judiciary Committee will begin drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the announcement Thursday morning.

The House Intelligence Committee said President Trump used military aid and the promise of a White House visit to try to pressure Ukraine into announcing an investigation of Joe Biden.

Kathleen Donovan is a political science professor at St. John Fisher College. She said it’s interesting to see the impeachment process through the eyes of her students. For many of them, this is the first impeachment process they’ve been alive for and they’re witnessing history being made.

Morgan Bajish is one of those students. She’s been keeping up with the impeachment hearings, including Pelosi’s announcement on Thursday. She said she believes the President abused his power.

“I do think what he did was an abuse of power and I think that if people in Congress believe so then it is their duty to act on it, however with the Senate holding a majority republican I find it hard to believe that it will pass,” said Bajish.

Donovan said impeachment is just the first step, it doesn’t mean removal. “Republicans do control the Senate and you need two-thirds of the Senate to convict and remove and that’s a lot of Republican defections and if the House is any indication, that is very unlikely to happen in the Senate,” she said.

The Constitution says treason, bribery, and high crimes and misdemeanors are the three categories of impeachable offenses. Donovan said impeachment is dependent on whether or not Congress thinks the President’s actions fall into at least one of these categories.

“We can look to previous impeachments and see what previous congresses have felt was impeachable but that doesn’t mean those are the only things that are impeachable, so it is a political process it’s not a legal process,” she said.

Bajish said in her opinion, the result of the impeachment hearings will show a lot about our government.

“How we proceed with this impeachment and if it goes through or not I think shows if as a government we’re about polarization and party loyalty or about impeaching people that do wrong things,” she said.

The next impeachment hearing is Monday.

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