CCSU Debates Trump Impeachment At The Dinner Table


Kelly Langevin

The Defining and Debating Impeachment: A collaborative Conversation event

Kelly Langevin, Copy Editor

Although politics aren’t typically discussed over dinner, members of the Central Connecticut community analyzed the current status of President Donald Trump’s impeachment through a collaborative conversation. The main focus of impeachment itself and what this means for Trump and the rest of America was discussed.

Starting off in small groups, attendants of the event sat at various tables to read and discuss different passages, which talked about the meaning of impeachment, how the constitution defines impeachment and what might happen next for Trump. Much of the discussions consisted of collective chattering and responsive feedback throughout the discussion.

“A well-constituted court for the trial of impeachment is an object no more to be desired than difficult to be obtained in a government wholly elective. The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of public trust,” Alexander Hamilton said in Federalist Paper number 65.

Later in the passage, Hamilton defined what impeachment means, stating “it is not disputed that the power of originating the inquiry, or, in other words, of preferring the impeachment, out to be lodged in the hands of one branch [House of Representatives] of the legislative body.”

Impeachment is a process that requires the House and the Senate and is written in the Constitution. It requires a majority vote of the House to impeach, and then that is followed by a two-thirds majority in the Senate, which will then convict and remove the President from office.Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi began an informal impeachment hearing late Sep. on Oct. 31, the House of Representatives voted 232-196 to begin a formal impeachment process, according to Vox.

The well-known “whistleblower” complaint made against President Trump was discussed next in the small groups in which they had the opportunity to give their opinions and feedback about the ongoing issue happening in office.

During the event, a panel was set up, consisting of history professors Dr. Matthew Warshauer and Katherine Hermes, political science professors Jerold Duquette and Robyn Smith, along with psychology professor Jason Sikorski. In which a tweet from President Trump was displayed stating, “In order to continue being the most Transparent President in history, I will be releasing a Transcript of the first and therefore the most important, phone call I had with the President of Ukraine. I am sure you will find it tantalizing.”

Warshauer mentioned that in the tweet “there is, in fact, no transcript. A transcript doesn’t exist. It is a summary.”

The panel allowed the different tables to curate questions about impeachment, what it means and what may happen, specifically in terms of how the impeachment can impact the upcoming election.

“How will it affect candidates on the trail? If it [impeachment] is still going on in the spring it will impact how the campaign unfolds. In terms of the results, obviously, in some sense, both sides expect it to have an impact and both sides are going to try and make it have the impact that they want,” Duquette said.

Another topic addressed was the media and how that plays a role as to what people believe is going on and how different people are viewing politics and impeachment.

“Confirmation bias is an issue which can be seen in a lot of us, where we look and decide before we gather all the facts, and from that moment forward we look for facts to support our own opinion. Also availability bias, the idea that what we see is what we believe. It is a simple human phenomenon,” Sikorski stated.

Impeachment is not a quick process, and as Vox explained it “does not have set guidelines or elaborate rules or a vast set of detailed statutes to guide the impeachment process along.”

Only time will tell as to how attendees expectations of impeachment will turn out.