Donald Trump has acquired many names since assuming the presidency – racist, sexist, and incompetent leader and likely the worst ever to hold the title. Unfortunately, one of the words now used to describe the 45th president of the United States is “acquitted.”
Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence against him, both explicit and implicit, Trump was acquitted during the second impeachment trial, and students had a lot to say about the verdict.
“The decision was more so based on party instead of people,” said Darreyon Johnson, a freshman criminal justice major. “I feel like Trump influenced a lot of the events that transpired at the end of his presidency, most notably, the storming of the nation’s Capitol, which was preceded by a Trump speech he used the word ‘fight’ multiple times.”
Citizens and politicians alike believed the content of his speech was more of a correlation than a coincidence, but as Johnson explained that “his [Trump] actions caused great commotion amongst the U.S. Capitol.”
Since Biden won the election before the second impeachment process began, some students question the timeliness of it. Senior communications major Alexandria Williams shares those same sentiments.
“I think it should’ve been done earlier, so why did they wait so long?” Williams asked. “I honestly don’t understand why him getting impeached now would have accomplished anyway.”
The idea of a verdict of guilty goes beyond impeachment when it comes to Trump; it means that he would lose the post-presidential benefits, including a pension and medical care. He also could not run for presidency again.
While senior political science major Trentqual Rhone found it disappointing to see Trump acquitted, the decision was less than surprising.
“I really can’t be surprised to be completely honest,” Rhone said. Additionally, Rhone believes that Trump’s insurrection and acquittal contradicts what happened during the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020. “We saw the reaction to the Black Lives Matter protest last summer, we saw how law and order was his rhetoric, but then we saw a complete 180 when they stormed the capitol… I’m not surprised about that either.”
Rhones believes Donald Trump is the main focus of the controversy, but one person who played a huge role in the acquittal was Republican Mitch McConnell.
“Trump hasn’t done anything that Mitch McConnell hasn’t allowed him to do,” Rhone said. “McConnell, being the senate majority leader at the time, has done everything but hold Trump accountable, despite the evidence against him.”
Johnson’s belief of “party instead of people” is apparent with the 79-year-old senator, even before Trump took office.
“Had it had been President Obama, or President Biden,” Johnson compared, “they would definitely go to the utmost… the highest point to try and get the individual removed.”
“He [McConnell] was doing everything in his power to prevent the Obama administration from implementing substantial changes to underserved communities,” Rhone echoed.
The verdict impacts the current state of the nation, and according to junior Cameron Thomas, it’ll have a lasting effect well into the future.
“The United States is a project,” the political science major explained,” Finding Trump guilty would be a step in the right direction, and the government failed to do that. The country has struggled with holding those like Trump accountable for their actions, and even with his predecessor being the first black president, it appears it failed to capitalize on it.
“It seems like whenever the US takes a step forward, it always takes several steps back,” Thomas added.
Though Trump was acquitted, escaping the consequences of his actions once again, some students are happy to see that the era of the 45th United States president is over.
“We probably won’t hear much of him anymore, especially since he’s banned from most of the social media platforms,” said Darian McDonald, a senior rehabilitation services major. “He’ll just eventually fade out of the public eye until he’s in a textbook.”
The responsibility now shifts to President Biden along with the first Black and Asian Vice President Kamala Harris, as this country and its people are now in their hands.