The impeachment trial launched on Jan. 21 in the Senate with a fight over how it would take place.
Democrats spent most of Tuesday pushing Senate Republicans to deviate from their party to allow new witnesses and key white house documents to be used in the trial. Republicans own the majority in the senate 53-47, so naturally, the push to bring witnesses was voted down 53-47.
Democrats argued it was only fair for there to be witnesses present and important documents turned over for the trial, while Republicans were more focused on ending the trial as fast as possible in order to spend more time on issues they deem more important.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made it clear before the process started that he was not going to relinquish anything to the Democrats.
“There will be no haggling with the House over Senate procedure,” McConnell reportedly said at the beginning of January. “We will not cede our authority to try this impeachment.”
Democrats have accused Sen. McConnell and other Republicans of trying to withhold evidence to cover up President Trump’s accused crimes. Among the accusers is Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY).
“I see a lot of senators voting for a cover-up, voting to deny witnesses, an absolutely indefensible vote, obviously a treacherous vote,” Nadler reportedly said.
Although roughly 72% of Americans thought witnesses and documents should be allowed, according to Reuters, the Senate voted not to include witnesses and documents.
On Wednesday President Trump’s lawyer Pat Cipollone spoke about the origins of the house impeachment proceedings and how it was a partisan process.
“In every other impeachment proceeding, the president has been given a minimum due process, nothing here,” Cipollone reportedly said. “Not even Mr. Schiff’s Republican colleagues were allowed into the SCIF.”
This comment received major backlash from Democrats including Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), who organized the proceedings.
“Now, I’m not going to suggest to you that Mr. Cipollone would deliberately make a false statement,” Schiff reportedly said. “I will leave it to Mr. Cipollone to make those allegations against others. But I will tell you this: he’s mistaken. He’s mistaken. Every Republican on the three investigative committees was allowed to participate in the depositions. And more than that, they got the same time we did!”
Although it’s on record that Republican representatives were present for the impeachment proceedings, the question still remains: were the House impeachment proceedings partisan? Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) voted “present” during the house vote for that very reason.
“Removal of a sitting President must not be the culmination of a partisan process, fueled by tribal animosities that have so gravely divided our country,” Gabbard reportedly said in December.
It’s safe to say students at OSU have different opinions from politicians in Washington, but what do students here think about the impeachment? When asked how he felt about the impeachment trial, freshman Jack Miller said it's really hard for him to choose a side.
“I feel like there’s a lot of dishonesty going on with politicians right now, but I think it’s just something that’s hard to decide until we have some type of honest source of what’s really going on,” Miller said.
Sophomore Nathan Bush had a different opinion; he believes Trump deserves to be impeached and the case against him could’ve been much broader.
“I think it’s shown a lot of people’s inability to accept basic facts,” Bush said.
Senate impeachment trials will continue with Day 6 on Jan. 26.