GO FIGURE: What Trump Did Wrong
Impeachment just means being charged. It does not equal conviction, punishment, or removal from office. It means that Representatives are agreeing to press specific charges against President Trump. Whether he will actually be held accountable is a different story. To better understand the process of impeachment and what could (or could not) happen, I created a data visualization series. The first data visual breaks down what Trump did wrong. What trail of evidence exists to push forward with the historic impeachment vote?
On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee released a 658-page report detailing their main reasons for the two articles of impeachment being voted on: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. These articles represent official charges of high crimes and misdemeanors against the president. To create the data visualization above, I stuck to using facts and figures that prove a direct connection to those specific charges outlined in the report. I wanted to boil down exactly what he did wrong in the most basic terms, without chatter from political analysts or comedians at a roundtable. I only used data from official government documents like the report from the House Judiciary Committee or the transcript of the White House phone call between Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine. In order to not let my own political bias get in the way, I did not use testimony or expert opinions; just numbers that could show exactly how his actions are directly connected to the specific charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.
Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will officially vote on whether or not to impeach Trump. Prior to this, they were just deciding on whether to investigate him and if so, how to do it. Now that the investigation is over, the House will vote on impeachment; which is really Democrats just saying, “Hey, our investigation is over. We have a report documenting evidence of possible crimes. Should we officially charge him for breaking the law and send him to trial?” The House is controlled by the Democratic Party. When they vote on Wednesday, they can impeach him without help from Republican representatives. However, once Trump is officially impeached, he goes to the Republican-controlled Senate to face charges and stand trial. Today’s data visual was all about how Trump actually broke the law. Tomorrow, I will map out what happens if he does get impeached and the likelihood of a conviction.