National discourse about the potential impeachment of President Donald Trump has intensified as House Democrats conduct impeachment proceedings. BYU students weighed in by sharing their opinions on the proceedings and Trump’s presidency.
Their views on whether or not impeachment is the next best step varied, but most students’ views were rooted in how they view his presidency as a whole rather than how they view his interactions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — including the phone call between the two world leaders that kicked off impeachment proceedings in September.
Freshman Jamie Swapp said she isn’t convinced Trump deserves impeachment, despite her unfavorable opinion of him. “I think that he’s a bad person, but I don’t know if he’s a bad president,” she said.
Freshman marketing student Jennifer Clark agreed, saying that though she feels Trump doesn’t always speak appropriately or professionally, his policies have been good for the country.
“I don’t think he’s done anything legally that calls for impeachment,” Clark said.
Other students disagreed, citing Trump’s involvement with foreign governments as grounds for removal from office.
“I just think that he shouldn’t try to get other countries involved in the presidential race,” BYU student Ashley Olson said at October’s pro-impeachment rally. She added that to her, the fact that Trump has been reaching out to other governments in this way is indicative that he was likely involved in illegal activities in the 2016 election.
Some BYU students said they would simply like to see the country move in a less combative direction as the process continues.
“The contention and battle between what’s happening right now isn’t necessarily the right way to go about it,” BYU student Braeden Paskett said.
BYU junior Anna Tasso agreed, adding that the hostility often imbued in the discussion makes it hard to stay informed about the issue. “I have a hard time staying up to date on news and current events because it’s not always very uplifting,” she said.
Tasso continued, saying she thinks the impeachment proceedings are less a legal motion against Trump and more of a political statement and effort to detract from his image.
Though impeachment can be a messy, contentious process, Clark expressed gratitude for a system which allows the American people to remove corrupt elected officials.
“I think it’s great that our government has the ability to do that,” she said. “We can choose that we don’t like our leader and get him out.”