[SPA THINKS] Impeachment trial outcome sparks debate

On Saturday former president Donald Trump was acquitted in the U.S. Senate, concluding his second impeachment trial. Trump is the third president to be impeached in American history, and the only president to be impeached in the Senate more than once. The reasons for his acquittal cited by republicans include the controversial idea that a former president cannot be impeached. Republicans argued the impeachment of a former president would be unconstitutional while democrats argued it would set a dangerous precedent that government officials would not face responsibility for their actions.

The Saint Paul Academy student body had a variety of opinions about the second impeachment trial. Senior Isabel Toghramadjian shared her belief. Like many others, she sees the trial as necessary to uphold a precedent of justice but also recognizes the attention it has been getting and how it may be a potential distraction. “I absolutely think that there must be consequences for Trump’s role in inciting the violence at the capitol, but I hope that the Senate impeachment trial doesn’t take too long and detract from other important policy decisions,” Toghramadjian said.

I think the trial happening in the Senate is part of a very important moment of reckoning for our country.”

— junior Will Sedo

Junior Will Sedo shared a similar opinion (before the trial was over), hoping that it would provide a starting point for new changes and sharing a common sentiment that the trial is a symbolically important moment in the country. “I think the trial happening in the Senate is part of a very important moment of reckoning for our country. I’m hopeful it will be able to bring some closure to what happened on January 6, and where we can start moving forward from here,” Sedo said.

Junior Sophie Cullen also shared sentiment about the trial concerning how Trump should personally be brought to justice for his actions (which many believe incited violence in the January 6th Capitol insertion). “I think that a second impeachment trial is necessary when looking into the details surrounding who incited the violence and the circumstances,” Cullen noted, “If our democracy is being threatened then it is the responsibility of our lawmakers to have such an impeachment trial in order to guard the democracy which this country has been built and founded on for centuries and put those who are guilty in their proper place.”

While he was acquitted in the Impeachment case, Trump will likely face other criminal investigations outside of Congress.