With the historic second impeachment and subsequent acquittal of former President Donald Trump, IUP students are torn in their opinions.
After the deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, the Democratic majority House of Representatives called for impeachment. Government officials received death threats, rioters breached the Senate Chamber and the Capitol was vandalized and looted.
Five people died, and more than 140 others were injured during the riot that was started to disrupt the counting of the Electoral College votes.
There has been a lot of controversy during the 2020 election that has gotten Trump to the point of being impeached for the second time. For example, his controversial and sometimes erroneous posts on social media led to him being permanently suspended from Twitter and other platforms. The division between Democrats and Republicans is at an all-time high.
During Trump’s presidency, he had falsely claimed he had won the 2020 election. He was accused of encouraging the Capitol riot and had tried to overturn his loss by allegedly using illegal means. This hasn’t set well with many Americans, including some students at IUP.
On Saturday, Trump was acquitted with a vote of 57 guilty votes and 43 not guilty votes.
Seventeen Republicans would have had to join all Democrats in voting to convict Trump to obtain the two-thirds supermajority required for conviction. Only seven Republicans voted to convict, while others like former Majority Leader Mitch McConnell believed the conviction would be unconstitutional.
IUP students have mixed feelings about how this now affects the U.S., themselves and their future.
“I think that this information will negatively impact the younger generations,” Carly Brewster (freshman, psychology) said. “I feel like it shows them that it’s okay [for the president] to commit these crimes because, in the end, you won’t be held accountable for any of it.”
Trump is going down in history as the first president in U.S. history to be impeached (and acquitted) twice. The goal of the impeachment was not to remove him from office, but to prevent him from running for office in the future and to be held accountable for his actions.
"I think the outcome is fair,” Alicia Smail (junior, pre-med) said. “He isn’t in office anymore, and by the way America reacted to this election, it doesn’t seem like the Democratic Party will ever allow him back.”
After the conclusion of the election, a lot of people were concerned about the future of America, and the riot showed how willing people are to use violence and make threats to get what they want.
“Based on the research I have done, this riot plot was premeditated and was a scene that wasn’t necessary,” Tara May (sophomore, nursing) said. “But I don’t believe Trump was the leader behind it.”
Many people believe Trump had nothing to do with the events that happened at the Capitol. Although Trump was not convicted for inciting the deadly riot, others believe that he encouraged his supporters to be unnecessarily violent and criminal that day.
Currently, Trump is being investigated by the state of Georgia for his alleged election interference. They are currently interviewing witnesses on Trump’s real estate business in New York. There is also an investigation being done by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. You can read more about it from the New York Times: