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Impeachment acquittal: No one surprised

By Staff | Feb 6, 2020

For the third time in the history of the United States of America, a president was acquitted of charges that could have resulted in removal from office.

The Senate voted to acquit President Donald J. Trump on Wednesday on two articles of impeachment drawn up by the House of Representatives and submitted to the Senate that resulted in a trial.

Article I: Abuse of power saw a 52-48 not guilty vote and Article II: Obstruction of Congress saw a 53-47 not guilty vote. The required 67 votes to convict was not met on either charge.

The votes fell almost entirely on party lines, save Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) who voted to convict Trump on Article I. This marked the first time a senator voted to remove a same-party president from office.

Locally, the reaction to results of the Senate trial also fall along party lines, though the overall outlook is that no one is surprised with the result.

Dane Eagle, R, State Rep. for the 77th District (Cape Coral) and House Majority Leader, is a staunch Trump supporter and said he’s happy that the “circus” has come to an end.

Eagle is currently running for U.S. Representative for Florida’s 19th Congressional District seat, currently held by Francis Rooney. Rooney has announced he will not be seeking reelection and declined to comment on the results of the Senate trial.

“Today’s vote by the U.S. Senate to acquit President Trump should come as no surprise to anyone,” Eagle said. “The ‘charges’ the House brought forward would not stand up in court, and the Senate absolutely did the right thing by putting an end to this circus.

“Unfortunately, this whole process has even further diluted the American public’s faith in our system. Impeachment of a President should not be used for political gain, which is exactly what the House Democrats intended to do. It has backfired, and President Trump’s approval ratings are even stronger than before.”

Eagle believes that despite the tumultuous times in Washington D.C. currently, that Trump has the country headed in the right direction.

“President Trump made it very clear in last night’s State of the Union Address that our country is on the right track,” Eagle said. “He spoke to the hearts of all Americans, and his words will continue to resonate as we move further into election season towards a strong Trump re-election in November.”

Another candidate seeking to claim Rooney’s seat is Dr. William Figlesthaler, a Republican. He also supports Trump and is happy to see the impeachment process come to a conclusion.

“I am relived that this entire process has finally come to an end,” Figlesthaler said. “It is more than past time for members of Congress to get back to work on the real issues that are facing our nation. We have so many major issues facing the country that desperately need our attention. Despite this incredible distraction, the President and his staff have continued to succeed at accomplishing and implementing major portions of his America First Agenda. I look forward to seeing how much more he can accomplish without the added distraction of a sham impeachment.”

Dr. Fig, as he is referred to, said he was not surprised with the results of the trial.

“No surprise at all,” he said. “Radical liberals and career political ‘NeverTrumpers’ are the only people who ever really believed in the articles. True conservative legislators that actually want success for the American people saw the entire thing for what it was: a hoax.”

Figlesthaler continued to comment that Republicans and Independent voters are “united against the radical left.”

“Impeachment was the nail in the coffin to any chance that liberals had of succeeding in 2020,” he said. “Moving forward, I think it has set a terrible precedent that if we don’t like or agree with someone, we can try and utilize impeachment as means to get them out of our way. Very dangerous and a slippery slope.”

Figlesthaler believes the American public is “fired up” over the indictments against President Trump.

“They know the entire process was a hoax,” he said. “More than ever, they are tired of the political elite trying to dictate how people should feel or vote.”

One of only two democratic nominees for the 19th Congressional District seat, Dr. Cindy Lyn Banyai, said this is the end of a “sad chapter in American history.”

Though she said she was not surprised at the outcome of the Senate impeachment trail, she is saddened.

“Impeachment is an important tool and check on unbridled, self-serving power in our government. Shame on the Senators who chose party over country. This acquittal moves us to the dangerous precipice of dictatorship,” said Banyai, an FGCU American Government instructor. “I’m worried an unchecked Donald Trump will move forward to run ram-shod over our institutions, further eroding our democracy and enriching himself and his cronies at the expense of the American people.”

Dr. Banyai is weary that the impeachment process has “disenfranchised the concerned American public further into apathy.”

“Those who care about democracy should take this opportunity to double-down on their commitment to the people and work to ensure we have proper leadership in the future,” she said. “Invest in good grassroots candidates and vote.”

Bryan Blackwell (R), a candidate for Eagle’s 77th District seat in the upcoming election, also is unsurprised with the outcome and supports the president.

“First, let me be clear, I support the President 100%,” Blackwell said. “I unequivocally stand with the Senate and their decision and do not believe this partisan witch hunt, orchestrated by Nancy Pelosi, is anything more than an attempt to reverse the 2016 election.

“I’m not at all surprised by the outcome, the Senate did the right thing, however I am extremely disappointed at the mockery that was made of the Office of Presidency by the House Democrats in attempting to make the impeachment process a political weapon””

He believes the results will only bolster President Trump’s chances next election.

“I believe (the impeachment process) actually may help President Trump by empowering his supporters and pushing the independents his way that saw the impeachment for what it really was: an attempt at a political coup,” Blackwell said.

Though he said the process is a positive for Trump, he is cautious of the divide in the country.

“Unfortunately I believe this sort of undermining of the Constitution only continues to divide the nation,” Blackwell said. “The American people are incredibly smart and savvy, they will most likely see it for what it is, political gaming at our expense. I’m afraid that only frustrates many of them but my hope is that we can move beyond this, see the success of the Presidents efforts and support him and his plans to continue the greatest economic boom in our storied nation’s history.”

The Republican Party of Lee County Chair, Jonathan Martin, called the exoneration of the president “long overdue” and inquired about the Biden family and their business.

“The Senate vote to rightly, justly, and constitutionally exonerate the President yesterday is long overdue,” Martin said. “Those who have previously abused the Office of the President for their personal financial gain must be held accountable and now that the largest impediment to that investigation is out of the way. The American people deserve to know the truth; How much did the Biden family gain from corrupt, backdoor deals with the Ukraine?”

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj