Impeachment Trial Progressed Through the Senate. What to Expect. How to Stay Informed.

The impeachment trials against President Donald J. Trump have begun in the Senate. His removal from office seems unlikely. What you should expect to see in the upcoming election.

By Micah Ward
News Reporter

Now that there was a successful vote from the House of Representatives, the impeachment trials have now been passed on to the Senate.

President Donald Trump will be tried on the grounds of allegedly admitting to holding military aid from Ukraine in order to gather information about his political rival Joe Biden. A vote was cast Tuesday, Jan. 28, to implement the formal rules for the impeachment trial. Both sides have been given 24 hours each to present their arguments. Trump’s legal team will continue to present their arguments.

On Friday there will be an official vote on witnesses. Should witnesses be called, it will likely result in a hearing from John Bolton, the former national security adviser for Trump, who allegedly heard from the President himself that he withheld aid from Ukraine.

However, experts say that it is highly unlikely that Trump will be convicted. The Senate needs a two-thirds majority vote in order to impeach Trump. Currently, the Senate holds a Republican majority, highly favoring the President.

Dr. Allen Linken, assistant professor of Political Science at the University of Alabama, says that the impeachment process will likely only affect the swing states for the upcoming election.

“In solidly red or blue states, this doesn’t likely change the election math,” Linken said. “I believe that the process is partially geared at the swing states in the 2016/2020 elections. How voters in states like Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio, for example, view the process and the President.”

Public attitudes towards President Trump have always been a topic of discussion since the start of his presidency. With attitudes as polarized as they are now, it is unlikely that the impeachment will greatly affect Trump’s re-electability, experts say. Dr. George Hawley, assistant professor of Political Science at the University of Alabama, says unless new information is found, Trump’s election campaign will remain unaffected.

“Attitudes toward President Trump are already quite polarized and entrenched. I doubt many people will develop a new opinion of the President between now and election day, unless we learn of some genuinely shocking new information in the coming months.

He also says that negative partisanship, intense dislike of the opposing party, will remain the norm regardless of what happens during the trials.

Students at the University of Alabama who are interested in government and politics can reach out to organizations such as UA College Democrats and UA College Republicans. These organizations offer students the opportunity to be involved and discuss political issues while educating others on important issues.

Jason Castillo, President of UA College Democrats, says they have been focusing less on the impeachment and more about forward-thinking topics and encouraging debate.

“The UA College Democrats have been trying to shift the conversations on campus to include more progressive topics and encourage inclusive discussion. This has been done by hosting larger events which feature prominent groups which further Democratic ideals, such as the Poor People’s Campaign, Planned Parenthood, and Moms Demand Action.”

An effort was made to contact UA College Republicans as well.

For more information about both groups, students can email UADems@gmail.com or uofacollegerepublicans@gmail.com to get in touch with the organization directly.