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Murrow College of Communication at WSU

Impeachment- What does it really mean?

PULLMAN- With the impeachment trials the United States experienced these past few weeks, and ending somewhat unexpectedly, citizens are upset. 

Despite the amount of controversy involved with the trials, there is still some confusion behind what “impeachment” means. Although President Donald J. Trump was impeached just a short while ago, that is only part of the story.  

President Trump has been charged with impeachment and he has since gone to trial in the Senate. A popular trend on social media after the news of President Trump’s impeachment came out, was that he had been removed from office completely. This is not true. President Trump was later not convicted.

A question that can be asked is, “Do students on a college campus truly understand the process of impeachment?” 

Professor of Political Science at Washington State University Cornell W. Clayton explained that he likes to tell his students they are living through history. There have only been three impeachments in the history of United States government. Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton.   

“It’s really about a political judgement about whether or not the president has done something- and it’s been proven that he’s done something- to the level that you believe he should be removed from office”, said Clayton.  

Buthow can students who aren’t political science majors know that they are living through history? Students like Jordan Smith, president of the Political Science Club, believe that students of all majors should take any political science course they want. This, according to Smith, can help students create a deeper understanding for themselves.  

The Political Science Club could be another way for students to gain that understanding. The club meets a few times per month to discuss a variety of political issues. At their meeting on January 29th, they discussed the political viewpoints behind issues like the Corona Virus.  

“I think it’s really important to understand what is going on in government. That’s one of the big reasons why we have the political science club. It was only formed two years ago; and so, it was established in 2017. And we’re open to all majors, because we want students to come talk about stuff, and learn a little bit”, said Smith.  

The Political Science Club meets every other week, from 5 p.m.-6 p.m. at the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education.  

As far as the impeachment now, President Trump was acquitted for his crimes. He is still the President of the United States. 


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