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US President Donald Trump Was Impeached In 2019: But What’s Next?

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The House of Representatives impeached President Donald J. Trump on Wednesday, 18 December 2019.  Next in line is the trial of the President in the Senate, due in early January.

The Foundation Of Trump’s Impeachment 

The impeachment of the sitting President was on two main grounds: abuse of power (230-197) and obstruction of Congress (229-198). 

Liberals have long appealed for President Trump’s impeachment, calling for an investigation into his ties with Russia, post-2016 American elections. The attempt fizzled out following Robert Mueller’s investigation, which failed to prove a conspiracy between Russia and the American President. 

However, the news of the Trump–Ukraine scandal, an ongoing political scandal, which first broke out in mid-September 2019, following an anonymous whistleblower complaint within the federal government, has landed Donald Trump in deep trouble.  According to the complaint, Trump unlawfully used his presidential powers to solicit foreign electoral intervention in the upcoming 2020 U.S. presidential elections. It was also alleged that Trump withheld military aid worth $400 million from Ukraine, and coerced Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s President to probe into Joe Biden, Vice President, and leading 2020 Presidential candidate and his family. Furthermore, Trump obstructed Congress by refusing to release any documents about his actions. 

Donald Trump: A Patriot Or Liar? 

It was an emotionally charged day at the Capitol as the Democrats and Republicans accused each other of treachery and treason in a 10-hour long debate. 

“Today, as speaker of the House, I solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the President of the United States. If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty. It is tragic that the President’s reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice. The vision of the nation conceived by the Founding Fathers was “under threat” from the White House.”, said Pelosi.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi remarked that it was imperative to impeach Trump as he is an ongoing threat to the American national security and the integrity of its elections. 

“The President withheld congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine, a country under siege, not to fight corruption, but to extract a personal political favor. The President of the United States endangered our national security. The President undermined our democracy … betrayed his oath to preserve protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. No one should be allowed to use the powers of the presidency to undermine our elections. Period.” said Democrat Jim McGovern.

On the other end of the spectrum, Republican Debbie Lesko argued,

“I believe this is the most unfair, politically biased, rigged process that I have seen in my entire life. This is the most partisan impeachment in the history of the United States. Not one Republican voted for it in the Judiciary Committee. … Not one Republican, I don’t think, is going to vote for it here today.”

How The House Voted 

“I don’t know about you, but I’m having a good time. I’m not worried.  We had 198 to 229. We didn’t lose one Republican vote, and three Democrats voted for us. Three Democrats went over to our side. That’s unheard of. The Republican party has never been so affronted, but they’ve never been so united as they are right now.”

No Republicans voted against Trump

Interestingly, two Democrats Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Collin Peterson of Minnesota voted against both articles with the Republicans.

Democrat and Presidential candidate 2020, Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, voted “present” (decided against giving a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer) on both articles, as her conscience wouldn’t let her vote against impeachment. Ms.Gabbard’s decision drew a lot of public flak. 

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Donald Trump is the third president in the United States’ 243-year old history to be impeached.

Here’s a little trivia for you! 

No U.S. president has ever been removed from office through impeachment. Both the previous Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached, only to get acquitted in the Senate later. Following the Watergate scandal, President Richard Nixon resigned before he could be impeached and face trial over it. Andrew Johnson was impeached for replacing a Cabinet member without the approval of the Senate in 1868. Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 on the grounds of perjury and obstruction of justice, for lying under oath, about his extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky. 

Trump Responds To His Historic Impeachment Vote

President Donald Trump responded to the Historic Impeachment Vote.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m having a good time. I’m not worried.  We had 198 to 229. We didn’t lose one Republican vote, and three Democrats voted for us. Three Democrats went over to our side. That’s unheard of. The Republican party has never been so affronted, but they’ve never been so united as they are right now.”

He also tweeted after his impeachment with a black-and-white image of himself which captioned:

“In reality, they’re not after me they’re after you. I’m just in the way.”

What’s Next? 

The Republican-controlled Senate trial is expected in early January. It remains to be seen if Trump will be acquitted, as a two-thirds majority is required for conviction. The Republicans are clinging on to hope as they get ready to acquit the American President and move on quickly.

In an interesting and unexpected turn of events, Christianity Today, the evangelical Christian magazine founded by televangelist Billy Graham, has supported Trump’s removal from office post his impeachment. This is a significant development considering Trump’s staunch vote base is from the religious group.

The editor-in-chief, Mark Galli, wrote:

“That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”

Is this the end of Donald Trump or will he survive?

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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