Cherokee County, state and national officials sound off on impeachment inquiry

On Tuesday, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives will open an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

The announcement comes after a complaint that Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate the son of former vice president Joe Biden. The whistleblower complaint said Trump froze $400 million in aid designated for the Ukraine during the incident. Trump denies behaving inappropriately.

“Not everyone who has read the transcript of the phone call between President Trump and the Ukrainian leader agrees that charges should be brought against President Trump,” said Jacksonville College government professor Dr. Patricia Richey. “ … it is important to remember that the impeachment process simply involves bringing charges against a government official.”

Richey explained that Article I of the United States Constitution gives the power of impeachment to the House of Representatives and the power to try impeachments to the Senate. Article 2, Section 4 of the United States Constitution stipulates that a president can only be removed from office “on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

“Only two United States presidents have been impeached – Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. Both men were acquitted after trials in the Senate. In 1974, the House of Representatives initiated the impeachment process for President Richard Nixon. However, he resigned before he was impeached. No president has ever been convicted by the Senate and removed from office,” Richey said.

U.S. Congressman Lance Gooden (R-TX) doesn't think Trump will be removed from office, either.

“Nancy Pelosi has finally given in to the far left wing of her caucus,” said Congressman Lance Gooden (R-TX). “When President Trump is declared the winner of a second term in 2020, today will be a significant milestone that Democrats will regret.”

Josie D. Schoolcraft, of the Cherokee County Texas Republican Club, believes the Democratic Party has changed through the years.

“I'm with President Trump ... the Democrats are not doing their job to help America. The Democrats hate him so much, they don't care about America anymore. They just want the President out of office. Today's Democrat Party is nothing like it was when Harry Truman or John F. Kennedy were President.”

John Ross, president of the Cherokee County Democratic Party and former Cherokee County judicial candidate Marlene Jowell issued this statement Thursday:

“Transparency on the part of government is crucial to our democracy. The allegations of presidential wrongdoing in the Mueller Report were troubling. Now a whistleblower has filed serious and urgent concerns about the President’s dealings with a foreign nation. Speaker Pelosi and the House had no choice but to exercise their constitutional oversight responsibility and begin an impeachment inquiry.”

State Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville), meanwhile, declined to comment about the impeachment proceedings.

State Representative Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches) also did not want to comment about the inquiry, saying “As for Pelosi/Trump, as a Texas state representative, I'm not really following that story and don't think it really affects Texas state government.”

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) issued the following statement on congressional Democrats’ latest calls for impeachment:

 “Since the day President Trump was elected, congressional Democrats have been working to find any reason under the sun to impeach the president and undo the results of the last election. First, it was Mueller, then the Mueller report found no collusion. Now, it’s Ukraine. Next month, it will be something else.”

Richey said professors encourage students in Jacksonville College government classes to become involved with the political process by voting and expressing their viewpoints, while remaining respectful of those who hold different opinions.

“Professors also emphasize the importance of praying for elected officials and showing respect for their office, regardless of their political views,” Richey said.

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