Trump impeached: what happens now?

Faye Navesey discusses what Trump's impeachment means for both the US and the rest of the world.

Faye Navesey
23rd December 2019
Trump - Gage Skidmore (Flickr)
For many, the moment Trump was impeached was a joyous one. Possibly it signified the beginning of the end for this administration which has from the start been covered in scandal and corruption. However, far from being over, this impeachment could not only fail to bring Trump down but embolden his supporters and make him stronger.

There is no doubt that Trump deserved his impeachment, he has, more than once attempted to manipulate the office of the president for his political gain, therefore, devaluing the status of the office he holds. But a wider issue is that Trump and his administration have created a narrative around impeachment where he responds to any criticism and accusations by calling them ‘fake news’ which discredits any scrutiny of him so whilst he deserves impeachment it is unlikely he will face adequate consequences for his wrongdoings. Getting him removed from office is almost impossible, even if he is guilty and deserves to be convicted the Republicans will never get rid of their president. For a party that accuses the opposition of partisanship, they are surprisingly quick to resort to it.

We must also be cautious of the idea that this impeachment has limited him to a single term presidency. Trump has managed to survive scandal after scandal without facing any political consequences. After all did we not think that they would reject him after several women accused him of sexual assault or even after the Russia investigation? If that wasn't the end then what will be? More than that, the idea that impeachment is just a method for the Democrats to get rid of Donald Trump is a potent one and may lead to his supporters hardening their stance and becoming emboldened. We cannot assume this impeachment means that he will be out of office anytime soon or that his ideology would be defeated. That requires a genuine alternative to Trump rather than just removing him.

However, there is some hope to be drawn from this, this impeachment sends a positive message to the rest of the world. The constant scandals coming from the administration embarrassed America in front of world leaders and cheapened its diplomatic status, and this vote was necessary to somewhat restore its standing in the world. The fact that the president is being tried for his actions shows America’s constitutional law has been upheld and that the president cannot play by his own rules.

This impeachment was undoubtedly a positive development and a symbol that the rules of a country have to be respected, even by the President. However, this is not to say that the fight against Trump and his blatant attempts to disregard constitutional law is over. If the Senate does not remove Trump from office for his actions, as is the most probable outcome, the responsibility to hold this President to account will be on voters in 2020.

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