Impeachment Analysis with Professor Chris Haynes

What happens after the Senate trial of impeached Pres. Donald J. Trump?

That could be any one’s guess. The impeachment trial “has been a little bit more interesting than I expected.” said Chris Haynes, professor of political science.

“I lived through the Clinton impeachment trial in the late ‘90s, and the way it started is somewhat similar in the sense that the process is similar but the differences are primarily in the makeup of the Senate itself,” said Haynes. “I think back in the Clinton impeachment, there wasn’t as much a sense that people had already made up their minds from the start of the trial.”

Haynes said the current impeachment trial “feels like maybe a handful of people have not made up their minds in terms of whether or not they want witnesses, not even in terms of the result itself.” According to Haynes, the Republican Party has enough votes to block conviction and it’s easier for them to vote no.

“In a way it really undercuts the gravity of the moment and the process itself of impeachment,” said Haynes. “It is kind of sad actually.”

Haynes said the impeachment hasn’t affected the environment of his classes.

“Political science is more about explaining politics rather than saying what’s right and what’s wrong,” he said. “That I leave to the students to decide.”

Campus-wide, Haynes said he believes the commonality of shutting out politics predates Trump. He said,“I don’t think students are any different than the average American that probably would rather not talk about it.”

As for the future of this country’s political climate, , Haynes said, “I don’t have a rosy picture. I think the problem is that we have a government that is incremental in the way that it changes.” According to Haynes, “it’s really difficult to solve the kind of pressing problems we have today.”

Haynes said he believes that issues, regarding climate change and immigration reform existed before President Trump and will continue once he leaves office.

“I think people are getting frustrated with the federal government and I think that’s going to post-date Trump,” he said. “I don’t think Trump has anything to do with it. I think he’s just exposed it even more, but the polarization has also predated Trump.”