BROOKINGS, SD (KELO) — Political observers in South Dakota are closely following the impeachment process unfolding on Capitol Hill. Members of the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Friday, passing articles of impeachment against President Trump.
The articles of impeachment vote is a real-life lesson in power politics for SDSU professor Lisa Hager.
“I think it’s just really interesting because you see something in action that you usually are just talking to students about,” Hager said.
Hager says the heated debate leading up to the vote shows just how divided both parties are on the issue of impeaching the president.
“It’s really starting to be seen more as a partisan sort of issue more so than there’s really possibly an impeachable offense here,” Hager said.
Hager says many South Dakotans have tuned-out the impeachment process because of all the political bickering. But she says it’s important that voters be engaged in the process because of its political significance.
“Because we will be having, most likely, an impeachment trial going on in the Senate and I think it’s important for people to be paying attention to that, even if we expect the president not to be removed from office,” Hager said.
Hager says while the House committee vote is a window in how Congress works, she’s concerned that members may in the future turn the impeachment from a Constitutional check on power to a political weapon to wield against opponents.
“And that’s why is this really about behavior, or is this really just about politics and partisanship? That’s kind of what we have to sort out, going forward,” Hager said.
The full House is scheduled to vote on the articles of impeachment next week, where the Democratic majority will likely approve them. However, Hager does not expect the Republican-controlled Senate to remove the president from office.