Grace Barattini, Assistant Features Editor
President Donald Trump was accused of pressuring Ukraine in hopes of revealing damage done by former Vice President Joe Biden, a current Democratic presidential candidate, according to BBC.
This suspicion caused the House of Representatives to vote to impeach Trump. The two articles of impeachment were abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The Senate needed 67 votes to convict Trump on the presented articles of impeachment, according to NPR. In the end, the trial ended in an acquittal.
Professor of government and politics Daniel Tagliarina paid as much attention as he could to the impeachment proceedings even with a conflicting schedule.
“Impeachment is a relatively uncommon experience, as President Trump was the third president ever to be impeached and only the 20th U.S. official of any kind to be impeached,” Tagliarina said.
According to Tagliarina, the “house proceedings were fairly standard, and the articles of impeachment were limited in scope in the behavior and incidence that they targeted.”
Within this impeachment there were many firsts. One being there weren’t witnesses involved in this impeachment, only the Democratic party was allowed to call witnesses.
Additionally, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) voted against his own party and split his vote on the articles. This is the first time in history a senator has done this.
Robert Van Dresar, a freshman cybersecurity major, followed the impeachment proceedings closely on local news rather than larger news outlets like Fox News or CNN.
Van Dresar said he believes receiving information about political topics, especially the impeachment, should be done through reliable and factual sources rather than sources that could be opinion based or persuaded.
Although news outlets and social media can persuade people, Van Dresar thinks that most people already know where they stand on the political spectrum.
“You’re going to follow the news site and political figures on social media that you agree with,” Van Dresar said. “The only people truly affected by persuasion are those that are in the middle.”
Unlike Van Dresar, who did follow the impeachment proceedings, there were some students that did not follow them at all. This was the case for Madelyn Roberts, a sophomore liberal studies major.
“I heard the impeachment proceedings on the news, but I never stopped to listen because I am not very interested in politics and our government is very divided right now and honestly, I’m kind of over it,” Roberts said.
Although Roberts did not tune into the nightly news, she was able to keep up with some of the proceedings due to people posting on Facebook.
Hannah Charles, junior criminal justice major also saw posts on Facebook about the impeachment, but did not follow it religiously, but believes social media is a big factor overall.
“I think like any political event occurring in the news, social media always has an effect. I believe social media helps spread incorrect information at times,” Charles said. “I think news outlets themselves are a little more careful of what they say, but can also show their hand a bit and lean one way or another”
Opposing viewpoints on this topic caused a lot of passion and intensity behind people’s reasoning.
“Sometimes when people are so passionate about something, they can mix that in and their opinion in a factual argument,” Roberts said. “If I were to watch the impeachment proceedings, I would care about listening and gathering the facts.”
The question is, who has the real facts? Whatever side you fall on will sway what media outlet you believe has the most factual and honest information. Some say that unbiased reporting and objectivity has “left the building” and is a thing of the past.
Utilizing live streams, recaps, articles and other media platforms, Tagliarina was able to gather all the needed facts and information.
“I varied my media consumption during the proceedings,” Tagliarina said.
Rumors of impeachment 2.0 have been circulating on social media and news outlets. Tagliarina believes that this is unlikely to happen again so soon.
“Without change in the Senate, there is no reason to expect a different outcome were the president to be impeached on additional charges,” Tagliarina said. “It is possible that something else might happen that could warrant another round of impeachment, but that is purely hypothetical at this time.”
It is also unlikely to expect any change in impeachment inquiry without change in the house.