Trump Impeachment No Surprise

"I think it was somewhat inevitable"

Tom Puckett
December 19, 2019 - 4:00 am
Trump Impeached
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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impeach President Trump. Political science professors say while this is significant, it was not surprising.

"I think once House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided to move in this direction in September, I think it was somewhat inevitable there was going to be a vote on impeaching the president," says Peter Yacobucci of SUNY Buffalo State. "This has happened only three times in our nation's history, and that it's occurring right now is significant in out history and it's an indication of how partisan we have become just like after the Civil War and to a lesser extent under President Bill Clinton." 

David Rankin of SUNY Fredonia was not surprised the impeachment vote was along party lines. "We pretty much knew that. They had all the votes committed over the last few days if not weeks, and it was clear the Republican party would be entirely opposed," says Rankin. He says impeachment proceedings are traditionally along party lines. "That was the way it was lining up even with the Nixon proceedings before there were Republicans were supporting impeachment and removal (before Nixon resigned). The Clinton impeachment was highly partisan, it was almost a strict party vote," explains Rankin.

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Dr. Jay Wendland of Daemen College says he's looking forward to see how senators in battleground states behave during the Trump trial. "You've got vulnerable senators like Susan Collins in Maine and Cory Gardner in Colorado who very likely don't want to take this vote, and publicly state one way or the other they support or are against President Trump," says Wendland. 

Up next is the trial in the Senate. Yacobucci says a delay is possible. "It's when the speaker decides to send it over to the Senate. I have read some discussion she may hold up sending it to the Senate in a negotiation tactic for establishing rules. Once it goes to the Senate, the rules will be established between the majority and minority leaders and it might take some time," explains Yacobucci.

Yacobucci and Wendland both predict an acquittal because there are not enough votes in the Senate to remove Trump. Republicans have a majority and a 2/3 vote to convict is required. Rankin also predicts few defections from either party. "It's not surprising the way it's gone. It feels like they're just going through the motions, and you know they'll vote along party lines," says Rankin.

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