Early on Tuesday morning, House Democrats brought forward two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, one for abuse of power, the other for obstruction of Congress.
The Associated Press reported the charges against Trump claim that he “corrupted the U.S. election process and endangered national security in his dealings with Ukraine.”
Locally, vocal voters seemed hesitant to condemn the president.
According to The Herald’s online poll Tuesday afternoon, when asked: “Now that the House has brought two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, should Trump be impeached and removed from office?”, 60% backed the president and did not support impeachment, while 40% supported the Democrats’ move and said Trump should be removed from office.
On The Herald’s Facebook page, readers also responded. Alex Carros wrote: “Total horse s*** on the part of the Democrats. Get ready for his 2nd term.” Diane Nelson responded: “Dump Trump.”
In his response to the announcement from House Democrats, Trump tweeted “To Impeach a President who has proven through results, including producing perhaps the strongest economy in our country’s history, to have one of the most successful presidencies ever, and most importantly, who has done NOTHING wrong, is sheer Political Madness!”
Trump tweeted later that the accusation from Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. that Trump pressured Ukraine to interfere on his behalf was not true.
David Yalof, professor and head of the Political Science Department at the University of Connecticut, said that Tuesday’s announcement of the charges was the next logical step for Democrats.
“I think nothing that happened today was particularly surprising,” Yalof said.
Yalof described the two charges as “relatively straightforward,” and said that they allow for a wide range of evidence to be used in support.
If the House moves forward and votes in favor of impeachment, then the Senate can vote to remove Trump from office. Yalof doesn’t see any sign that this would happen.
“At this point no Republicans at all are showing signs that they would vote to remove,” Yalof said.
Area officials also chimed in on the impeachment charges on Tuesday.
“If he’s convicted and removed, then that’s going against the will of the people and I’m angry over it,” Tony Cane, chairman of the New Britain Republican Town Committee, said.
Cane believes there is a lack of evidence to support the charges.
“Show me recordings. Show me a direct witness under oath,” Cane said. There isn’t enough proof.”
Cane concluded by saying that he believes there is too much politics driving the investigation on both sides, and that he also doesn’t believe the Senate will vote to remove Trump.
As of late Tuesday afternoon, many members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation had not sent out official statements to the media on the action by the House Democrats earlier in the day.
However, Democratic U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal tweeted: “With these searing Articles of Impeachment, House leaders seek to stop Trump’s ongoing brazen, blatant abuse of power. Our solemn Constitutional duty requires us to act. Inaction means the dire danger to our democratic institutions, elections, & national security will continue.”
The Associated Press reported that both U.S. Reps. John Larson and Rosa DeLauro announced Tuesday they will vote in favor of the two charges.
A message left for Rep. Jahana Hayes was not returned.
It is unclear how proceedings from here will affect the 2020 election.
According to Yalof, the president and GOP could organize a strong defense to the charges which would bolster Trump’s support going into the election, but it could also hurt his image in the eyes of independents that are getting tired of the whole ordeal. It is hard to predict how things will turn out, Yalof said.
“It’s hard to tell how this will affect the election,” Yalof said. “We have no precedent to go off of.”
If the House approves the charges, they would be sent to the Senate in January.
Associated Press reports were included in this article. Staff writer Catherine Shen also contributed.