Why impeachment matters: Whether the Senate convicts or not, it is vital to uphold our country’s laws

After months of stonewalling her fellow Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has finally embraced growing calls from her party to initiate a formal impeachment inquiry into questionably illegal actions by President Trump regarding Ukraine.

Republican political leaders and conservative pundits were quick to respond and label the inquiry as yet another “Democratic witch hunt,” in which they stated there is no basis for starting any impeachment inquiry into the president.

However, there are glaring inconsistencies with this narrative. In the aftermath of the Mueller Report’s release, Pelosi resisted calls from her colleagues to initiate impeachment proceedings, stating in March that it was, “just not worth” impeaching the president. She continually made arguments that impeachment would only further polarize the American public.

For the longest time, I agreed with Pelosi. Today, American politics have become a partisan battleground, with Democrats and Republicans now almost refusing to reach across the aisle in order to pass legislation. This is hurting the country. Polarization has become a serious problem, not just among our elected officials but among members of the public. Impeachment would likely further these divides. If impeachment were even to be successful, there is a longstanding fear among Democrats about the prospect of a Pence presidency.

However, we cannot allow our elected officials to blatantly disregard our Constitution and laws. The president publicly admitted to asking a foreign government to uncover information about one of his chief political rivals. This is illegal. This cannot and should not be defended. We have already been here before. Doing nothing sets in motion a risky precedent and a message to future elected officials that committing crimes and acts of wrongdoing will go unpunished.

Currently, House Democrats have been investigating to see whether or not the President withheld congressionally appropriated military aid packages to Ukraine over Ukrainian rejections to look into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Ukrainian prosecutors have stated they will not be reviewing allegations that Joe and Hunter Biden were engaging in acts of corruption.

At the time of this writing, 221 members of the House support the impeachment inquiry. All are Democrats with the exception of newly independent Justin Amash. If Republicans claim to take a “textualist” approach to the interpretation of our laws and our Constitution, it is time they accept the facts and the reality that President Trump has used the powers of his office to knowingly commit crimes that further himself and endanger the national security of this country. Though the Senate is unlikely to convict, the time has come to impeach this lawless president and send a message nationwide that the laws of our country do in fact apply to everyone.