Verbatim: Paly students and staff discuss current impeachment trial

Kaahini Jain and Tara Kapoor

As President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial begins, after being formally charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress last month, Palo Alto High School students and staff share their thoughts as they discuss whether the impeachment trial will affect the 2020 presidential election, and possible predictions for the trial.

“I don’t think that the impeachment will affect the upcoming election at all. It looks like the media has already moved on from it because of how much of a waste of time it was, and are now focusing on foreign policy with Iran for their newest polarizing push. Is a prediction really needed? If it makes its way to the Senate, the Republican majority is going to vote against it and it’ll be over, that’s it.” – Jackson Druker, senior. Photo: Kaahini Jain
“When it comes to the presidential election, things get complicated. It’s all about making a case. If the Democrats can make the case that Trump really did act wrongly, which he did, then that can be a strong platform to question his commitment to the nation. My hope is that the Democrats are able to pull this off because if his patriotism, morals, or judgment can be called into question, then whoever is running has a strong boost. For the predictions I am quite confident as to the outcome. The Senate is majority Republican and the party is pretty lockstep at the moment. As a result, I would be very surprised to see Republicans turn away from the president. I would be very surprised by a guilty verdict.” – Owen Longstreth, junior. Photo: Tara Kapoor
“There are short-term implications of the Senate trial that will keep a couple of the front-running Democratic candidates busy in the run-up to Iowa and New Hampshire next month. Both Sen. [Elizabeth] Warren and Sen. [Bernie] Sanders will need to be in the Senate during the trial which should be starting soon now that Pelosi has sent the charges over. That may keep those two, and Senator [Amy] Klobuchar, from campaigning as vigorously as they had planned. If I had to make a prediction right now, I would say that the Senate vote falls short of the 2/3 needed for conviction. Aside from a few independent Republicans like Sen. [Susan] Collins of Maine or Sen. [Lisa] Murkowski of Alaska, I think there will not be enough Republicans voting to convict. If that does happen, you better believe that Trump will put that front and center in his message for his upcoming rallies.” – Steve Foug, history teacher. Photo: Tara Kapoor
“From what I have seen, I don’t think that it is likely the four Republicans needed to vote with the Democrats will suddenly appear which is extremely disappointing. As [for] the 2020 elections, I know that the overall polling shows that Americans believe he is super guilty because the evidence is so obvious.” – Emma Donelly-Higgins, senior. Photo courtesy of Emma Donelly-Higgins