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Throwback Thursday: Recent events evoke similar sentiments as 2016 election

(Daily Bruin archive)

By Alexandra Grace Bell

Jan. 9, 2020 5:57 p.m.

On Jan. 7, it was revealed that Imaad Zuberi, a donor to President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, intends to plead guilty to obstruction of justice, according to a The Washington Post article.

Many questions about Trump’s ascension to the Oval Office have been raised lately, particularly with ongoing scandals in Ukraine and Iran. His impeachment trial has consequently been met with mixed emotions – echoing students’ sentiments from just over three years ago on the day of Trump’s election.

According to a Daily Bruin article published early in the morning on Nov. 9, 2016, disbelief followed the Associated Press’ announcement of his victory, captured by students protesting and vocalizing their disappointment on campus the night the news broke.

The article described the Community Programs Office election watch party, an event over 850 students attended. At this particular event, student support for Hillary Clinton clear and enthusiastic while detest for Trump was distinct and hushed.

Students stared in dismay and misery as the Electoral College’s votes rose Trump’s direction throughout the night. Former editor Ryan Leou wrote about the coping mechanisms of the viewers, with some stuck in their seats, some overcome with emotion and some attempting to distract themselves whatever way they could.

Simran Saini, who, at the time of the event was a second-year communication studies student, said in the article that the results displayed the lack of requirements it seems to take to become president.

Conversely, not every student was upset at the news.

Michael Rothman, who was a third-year communication student at California State University, Northridge, at the time, said in the article that the results indicated America was ready for change. Rothman also said he was unsure as to how Trump would implement his plans, but that he did agree with them.

The article went to describe another viewing party, which the On-Campus Housing Council, undergraduate student government general representative and BruinsVote! hosted. The viewing party featured mixed reactions from students: incredulity, denial and surprise.

The 2020 election cycle is coming up, and scandal and conflict are arising. Today, the president’s term is nearing an end, though it’s possible the president won’t remain in office for its full duration – as of Dec. 18, Trump has been impeached by the House of Representatives. He was impeached for charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The trial focused on whether Trump pressured Ukraine in order to help himself politically.

More specifically, allegations against him claimed Trump leveraged military aid, which Ukraine needed in order to help fight Russian military aggression. Trump allegedly did so in order to coerce Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, and to examine a theory that, during the 2016 election, Kyiv, Ukraine, was colluding with Democrats.

His removal from office lies in the hands of the Senate, which will hold a vote in the upcoming months to solidify the president’s fate.

A The Washington Post article states that a large majority of members of his party would need to defect in order to remove him from office. However, the writer goes on to say that there seems to be enough middle-ground senators to ensure a fair trial.

According to The New York Times’ overview of the current status, it is unclear when the Senate trial will be held.

This lack of closure leaves much up in the air, especially when Trump is planning to run for a second term later this year.

However, support for the president doesn’t seem to be too affected by this circumstance. In fact, The Washington Post wrote that Trump is moving up in national polls against his potential Democratic rivals.

Despite these approval ratings, Trump’s chances at a second term may still be affected by one of his recent military actions against Iran.

Trump ordered an airstrike Friday that killed Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian general.

Thousands in Iran marched through the streets of Kerman during the funeral procession for Soleimani and other military personal, according to CBS News. On Wednesday in Iran, it launched a missile attack on two U.S. bases in Iraq. There are no reported U.S. troop casualties.

Trump continues to surprise and shock the world, much like he did roughly three years ago with his electoral college win. The future of Trump, whether he is impeached or re-elected, will be determined by the democratic process and largely remains to be seen.

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Alexandra Grace Bell
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