Senate Impeachment trial to wrap up without witnesses this week

President Donald Trump is close to acquittal with the final vote in the Senate impeachment trial slated for this week.

Republican senators voted against the use of additional evidence regarding the impeachment trial, speeding up the process which most predict will result in an  acquittal this week. The additional evidence consisted of a testimony from John Bolton, Trump’s previous national security advisor.

According to the Washington Post, Bolton would have testified that Trump told him to pressure Ukraine to provide damaging information on Democratic nominees in the upcoming presidential election. This raised potential problems with Trump’s chief of counsel, Pat Cipollone, who may have witnessed Trump speaking about asking Ukrainian politicians to find this type of information. 

Gabriela Soto Cotto, senator for the class of 2021 and Suffolk Student Government Association sustainability committee chair, said a new precedent  could be set regarding future presidencies.

“I believe the impeachment trial is something every American should be paying attention to regardless of political beliefs,” Soto Cotto said. “This will set a precedent for years to come. It affects each and every one of us directly.”

Four Republican senators would have had to vote with the Democrats on bringing in more evidence and witnesses in the tiral. Senator Mitt Romney, of Utah, and Senator Susan Collins, of Maine, were the only Republicans who sided with Democrats. 

“It is a sad day for America to see Senator McConnell humiliate the Chief Justice of the United States into presiding over a vote which rejected our nation’s judicial norms, precedents and institutions which uphold the Constitution and the rule of law,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrote in a Tweet about the lack of witnesses.

Trump gave his annual State of the Union Address Tuesday night, the day before the Senate reaches their verdict. Christina Kulich-Vamvakas, a government professor at Suffolk, spoke about Trump giving the address during his own impeachment trial.

“It’s uncomfortable and interesting to have a president undergoing an impeachment trial while giving a state of the union address telling the public it’s so strong,” said Kulich-Vamvakas. “This impeachment could set a precedent that Congress should not have power over the executive branch which is fundamentally at odds with the constitution.”

David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, said factors other than the impeachment will still have a large roll in the election.

“There are a bunch of unknown factors regarding the 2020 election, like who is going to be the democratic nominee and what is the state of the economy?” said Paleologos. “The stronger the economy, the stronger the incumbent president is, if the economy weakens that is going to hurt president trump and his supporters that are saying that the economy is doing outstanding.”

Students said it is important for students to keep up with the impeachment trial, that bipartisan conversation could help students stay informed about what is going on in Washington D.C.

Sabrina Liu, senator for the class of 2023, said citizens have power through their votes.

“Suffolk students should put law above partisanship and encourage their local representatives to do the same. Even though this is an issue at the highest levels of power in the country right now, the people still hold the power,” said Liu. “With that being said, the extreme polarization of party politics makes for a rather bleak future where justice is involved.”

The Senate is expected to reach its verdict on  the impeachment Wednesday.