Trump impeachment shows consequences

President Trump held a rally in Michigan while the House of Representatives voted to impeach him....
President Trump held a rally in Michigan while the House of Representatives voted to impeach him. Photo: Getty Images
Donald Trump’s impeachment shows small countries such as New Zealand there are consequences for international leaders breaking the rules, a University of Otago academic says.

Yesterday, accused of abuse of power, and obstruction of Congress, Mr Trump became the third United States president to be impeached.

Whether he is ejected from office is now in the hands of the Republican-controlled Senate.

University of Otago politics professor Robert Patman said New Zealand had a "huge interest" in the saga.

"Anything which makes the rules work is important for a small country. No-one should be seen as being above the law."

It was clear Mr Trump deviated from his country’s law in his dealings with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, he said.

The first of two charges against Mr Trump relates to the allegation he attempted to coerce Mr Zelensky into smearing political rival Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden in return for military aid.

"I think that’s important what’s happening because Mr Trump has clearly acted in a way that is at variance with the US constitution."

As countries such as New Zealand had relatively low international sway, they were helped by any sign showing there were consequences for leaders breaking the law.

Although New Zealand had populist leaders, its political system made it more difficult for them to become prime minister.

Here, a coalition needed at least 48% of the popular vote, Prof Patman said.

"If they had that in the UK, Boris Johnston, with his landslide victory, would be scratching around with 43% of the vote, trying to find coalition partners."

There was no certainty Mr Trump would be removed from office, Prof Patman said.

"The Republicans are still behind him, which is extraordinary."

However, while the impeachment might energise Mr Trump’s political base, it would at least show others that something was being done about his behaviour.


View all


The problem I have is that judging by how they (Democrats) define these two articles (of impeachment), you could impeach EVERY LIVING PRESIDENT ON THIS TYPE OF ALLEGATIONS.
The most troubling for me is the obstruction of Congress. They set an abbreviated period for investigation, arguably the shortest investigation of any presidential impeachment, depending on how you count the Johnson impeachment days.

(Jonathan Turley is an American attorney, legal scholar, writer, commentator, and legal analyst in broadcast and print journalism. He is a professor at the George Washington University Law School and has testified in United States Congressional proceedings about constitutional and statutory issues)

These "academics" are pathetically left bias in their opinions.
Dems are trying to get him impeached for asking Ukraine if what bidin did with 1B USD aid money he used as blackmail to favour his son in an oil company.
Open your blinkers a little more you idiots. It's getting kinda painful hearing so called experts parrot US alt-left media outlets and try to pass them as fact

Trump has been impeached. It happened yesterday.
The reasoning is a little more nuanced than what you make out - one of the articles lays out that Trump witheld aid in order to get a foreign government to announce it was looking into Biden. So, extortion. He threatened to not give the aid without the announcement. Regardless of if he was making these moves under the guise of "fighting crime and corruption" he knowingly held aid in order to get a foreign government to influence a competitor in upcoming elections. That's clear as day.
The next step is whether or not he will be removed from office which I highly doubt will happen.

Even further down the line is what does impeachment with no removal do to the divided bases come 2020. I suspect we will see Trump be re-elected.

Absolutely. The left wing bias in the media and in academia is abundantly clear.
The curious thing in all this is, the more the Democrats cry "Wolf!" the more the public are refusing to listen to their partisan nonsense. It is backfiring spectacularly, as evidenced by recent polls.
Once again they will be shocked and will have another tantrum when Trump wins again in 2020.

And once again, not only will they fair to see why, but fail to understand their failure is of their own making.

President Donald Trump has NOT been impeached. The completely unhinged, hate-filled democrats would like it to be so, and some NZers too it would seem, but he is still President, and Republicans are still in power.

He has been impeached. Being impeached and being removed from office are two separate things. He has been impeached on two articles, but the senate will very likely vote to keep him in office.
It's strange that you start your comment by claiming something hasn't happened, when it literally happened yesterday.

You don't get it--what the deranged democrats want is only their opinion, and as such is absolutely worthless since they are not in power and their wish for impeachment is not going to happen.

Actually, No he has not been impeached. The House voted to impeach him and the resolutions were passed. He is not impeached until the resolution(s) are transmitted to the senate. Pelosi hasn't transmitted either resolution and says she may not ever do that so Trump has not been impeached. The house has approved an amendment for impeachment but Trump has not been impeached. That aside, Patman has made a series of erroneous statements. The constitution designates Trump as the chief law enforcement officer of the US and who is legally responsible for ensuring that there is no fraud, waste or abuse associated with military military aide expenditures. He is well within his legal authority to withold aide given the fraud that has already taken place with the Bidens in the Ukranie. Additionally, the Supreme Court has agreed to review the lower court rulings involving congressional and prosecution subpoenas directed toward President Trump. That means he has legal standing and undercuts the second article of impeachment passed by the House Judiciary Committee along party lines last week. The whole things is a sham. More BS from liberal eggheads that know nothing about US law!

Trump has done nothing wrong; so there was/is no reason to impeach him, therefore the Republicans are right in claiming this is a completely bogus 'impeachment'.

"Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body levels charges against a government official. Impeachment does not in itself remove the official definitively from office; it is similar to an indictment in criminal law, and thus it is essentially the statement of charges against the official. Whereas in some countries the individual is provisionally removed, in others they can remain in office during the trial. Once an individual is impeached, they must then face the possibility of conviction on the charges by a legislative vote"
Under the US system, impeachment occurs when the 'statement of charges' are passed to the Senate for trial.
At this time, that hasn't happened.
Given that CNN polls shows Democrat voter support for the process has dropped from 90 to 77% and that the objective of impeaching Trump was to stop him winning 2020, it will be interesting to see if that happens.

“If the House does not communicate its impeachment to the Senate, it hasn’t actually impeached the president,” he continued. “If the articles are not transmitted, Trump could legitimately say he wasn’t truly impeached at all.”

“Both parts are necessary to make an impeachment under the Constitution: The House must actually send the articles and send managers to the Senate to prosecute the impeachment. And the Senate must actually hold a trial,”

Noah Feldman.....Harvard Law professor, on Nancy Pelosi's reluctance to send article of impeachment to the Senate

Pelosi has not handed the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
As of this time, Friday 20th, Trump is still NOT impeached, and in any case the whole thing is a charade.

Every news channel on the planet says he HAS been impeached. This is NOT fake news. Holy cow, how can you say nah when the world states the process has occured? Being impeached does not remove him from being in office as the President of the USA. It is only the beginning of a three stage process. Clinton and Johnson were impeached and faced Senate trials, but both remained President. As was Nixon, however he later resigned from office. Trump is officially the 4th US president to be impeached.

"accused of abuse of power, and obstruction of Congress, Mr Trump ... impeached."
Wikipedia:- " Impeachment does not in itself remove the official definitively from office; it is similar to an indictment in criminal law, and thus it is essentially the statement of charges against the official."
Removal from office is done by the Senate, after a trial.
All the Democrats have is a 'statement of charges' voted for by Democrats alone and they lost 3 of their members along the way. They have been saying they will do it since he was elected because he is a horrible person and Clinton should have won 2016. No surprises there.
"It was clear Mr Trump deviated from his country’s law"
There was no claim that he broke the law in the statement of charges.
"Although New Zealand had populist leaders, its political system made it more difficult for them to become prime minister."
Wikipedia:- "a political strategy in which a charismatic leader seeks to govern based on direct and unmediated connection with their followers."
That would make Ardern a populist leader. Labour was a dead duck until Little stood aside.
I hope the professor is better informed when teaching his class.

Left wing ivory tower inhabitant. Maybe the prof should you different data sources than CNN/CBS/ABC/NBC & MSNBC?

Patman doesn't know what hes talking about! The house voted on 2 resolutions to impeach Trump. Both resolutions passed. Once the resolutions are sent to (transmitted) the senate, Trump is impeached. Pelosi hasn't sent the resolutions so Trump isn't impeached. Pelosi has committed political malpractice withholding the resolutions. It will only continue to divide the US along political lines. Pelosi and the democrats were in a hurry to push impeachment because they thought the US population was behind it. Americans oppose it. Trump is fighting against the career politicians and corrupt bureaucrats. Yep, hes abrasive and unlikeable but hes fighting for Americans and hes getting rid of these worthless swamp dwellers. Hes not going to get kicked out of office. Even if he did, he would be voted back in. Kiwis will never understand American politics or the Trump phenomenon just as Americans could never understand how Kiwis could support our PM.

The bloke has proven to be, among many other things, a fanny groping enthusiast, (we have all seen the recordings and footage).....only the rednecks and the crazy would vote for such a person, which says a lot for the current state of the US voting society. Never have we seen a US president with such a huge trailer of controversial issues that do not in any way define the character required of a global leader. History will show us the truth in all of this, and Putin will feature in those findings. Where there be smoke, there be fire......

HE WAS IMPEACHED YESTERDAY … pretty plain to see here that there are those that will always refuse to see how unhinged this president and his administration really is. The Murdoch media feeding the uninformed again. None so blind as those that refuse to see....

The comments here are anti-Left wing. Called 'pathetic', 'idiots', 'deranged' does not win you friends or the argument.

What the whole show trial is about, is to terrify people. To terrify the average person who has no power. Imagine if these corrupt people decided to go after you, an innocent without a billion dollars. Its a shot across the bow of the powerless to instill fear. Trump will not be impeached, yet the gunshot will frighten many back into their rabbit holes. This abuse of power is the most awful thing to happen in America's history. Trump will win again. Perhaps he gets to run for 2 more terms. As the first will be "cancelled". 15 years of Trump. Love it.

President Trump will still be President Trump in 2020.

It is interesting to note that the Democrats argued mainly on the substance of the allegations, and the Republicans kept mainly to the process

Donald Trump’s impeachment shows small countries such as New Zealand there are consequences for international leaders breaking the rules, a University of Otago academic says.>>

What is wrong with school and people there. What are you talking about?

" certainty Trump would be removed from office." This is disingenuous. There is certainty that he will NOT be. There is as much chance of Winston Peters wearing a baseball cap back to front in public as the Republicans voting in the Senate to take further action (plus you need 2/3 majority). This misleading comment failed to point out that the impeachment never had a chance of progressing through to dismissal and thus it was a futile exercise, a political charade prompted by the Democrats.

View all

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter