Clarion photo Jordan Sindelar

Mr. Nims after his interview

By Ally Keefe, Reporter

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced an impeachment inquiry Sept. 24. The reason for the inquiry was because of President Trump’s phone call to the president of Ukraine. The released transcript of the call revealed that Trump requested information on the son of one of his political opponents, Joe Biden, in exchange for tax-funded foreign aid. 

“Using tax money for political gain is unpresidential,” said history teacher Steve Nims in a recent interview. 

Pelosi’s reasoning for the inquiry was that this action has severely violated the Constitution. 

Some new information emerged gradually over the next week or so. The House of Representatives issued Energy Secretary Rick Perry a subpoena in order to get the documents he has in relation to Trump’s phone call to the Ukranian president. 

Teacher Po Waiwaiole said that he is “interested in what documents and other evidence will be released during the impeachment process.” 

The subpoena is also because of his own personal involvement in Ukraine. In addition, two associates of Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani have also been found to have ties to the Ukraine phone call business and are being investigated. 

The House of Representatives has now given multiple people and documents a subpoena in order to review them in court. There has also been an announcement from the White House that the president will not be participating in the impeachment inquiry due to it being “illegitimate.”

Here’s how the process of impeachment works. In the first step a member of the House of Representatives brings up an impeachment inquiry. After that, the entire House of Representatives has a vote on whether or not to impeach the president. If the majority votes yes, it moves on to the Senate. Then the Senate holds a trial against the president with a charge of impeachment. If the Senate votes guilty, the president is removed from office and the vice president becomes the president. If the House of Representatives votes no, then all charges are dropped immediately. Similarly, if the Senate votes acquit (not guilty) instead, the impeachment process stops immediately. The president never loses any presidential powers during this process unless they are impeached. 

There are many mixed opinions on whether or not the impeachment case against Trump will end in conviction or not. Calvin Thompson, a sophomore, thinks that there is a good chance of success. Waiwaiole is unsure. He said that at least six Republicans in the Senate would have to vote against their party, which he thinks is unlikely. However, more and more Republicans have been speaking out against Trump in recent weeks. 

In the past few weeks, the excuses against Trump’s behavior have gone from claiming that Trump never tried to make a deal with Ukraine, to admitting that he was trying to make a deal, but there was nothing illegal about it. 

Impeachment inquiry hearings have just wrapped up by Thanksgiving break and witnesses have begun to publicly testify. Fiona Hill, formerly an official of the National Security Council, and David Holmes, U.S. ambassador in Kiev, Ukraine, testified in a recent impeachment inquiry hearing. Some other witnesses include: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman (National Security Council staff), Jennifer Williams (State Department official to the vice president’s office), Kurt Volker (former U.S. special representative to Ukraine), Tim Morrison (National Security Council staff), Gordon Sondland (U.S. ambassador to the EU), Laura Cooper (official of the Defense Department), and David Hale (undersecretary of state for political affairs). 

Nearly all of the witnesses have already given closed-door testimonies, so the hearings are mainly for the benefit and knowledge of the public. Many of these witnesses have either significant White House positions, lots of experience in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, or an ambassador position in Ukraine.


I interviewed a Cleveland student and some teachers about their opinions on impeachment.

Calvin Thompson, 10th grade:

How much do you know about the impeachment?

I know some because I’m on Constitution Team, but mostly how it relates to the constitution. 

Do you have any opinions about it?

I think it should happen.

Do you think it will be successful?

There is a good chance of it being successful.


Mr. Nims:

How much do you know about the impeachment?

Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry because of Trump’s phone call with the Ukranian president asking for information on Joe Biden’s son in exchange for tax-funded foreign aid.

Do you have any opinions about it?

I’m not a fan of Trump. Using tax money for political gain is unpresidential. Trump should be fired. 

Do you think it will be successful?

I think Trump will either be impeached but not convicted, or just not impeached at all.


Mr. Waiwaiole:

How much do you know about the impeachment?

Impeachment is a multi-step process. First, the House of Representatives votes to declare the president unfit to be president. Then the case is sent to the Senate, who holds a trial whether to accuse the president of crimes resulting in impeachment or to acquit (not accuse) the president. At this point in the process, the House of Representatives is deciding whether or not to send the case of impeachment to the Senate for a trial. 

Do you have any opinions about it?

I am not a fan of Trump, but I am interested to see what documents and other evidence will be released to the public during the impeachment process. I am also interested in hearing what reasons the House of Representatives will give for impeaching the president.

How successful do you think it will be?

Unsure. At least six Republicans on the Senate would need to vote against Trump for it to work, which I don’t think is likely. However, there have been an increasing number of Republicans speaking against Trump over time, so it seems more possible now than it did a few weeks ago.

As seen in the interviews, there is not a lot of diversity in opinions, but there are differing predictions on the success of the impeachment. The information stated is up to date as of the writing of this article, but as this situation is ongoing, so not all information will be available at the time of writing.