Political Roundup: Recap of the Iowa Democratic Caucus and Impeachment Trials

What happened in Iowa? Recap of the Iowa Democratic Caucus

by Reyna Estrada / Sports Editor

The 2020 presidential primaries kicked off on Monday Feb. 3 with the Iowa Democratic Caucus. The highly anticipated night did not go as smoothly as planned, with technical difficulties delaying the full results for about three days.  

Historically, the Iowa caucuses have played a large role in the coverage of the presidential race, as well as provided the backing candidates may need to be successful throughout the remaining primaries. In the past, most U.S. presidents have finished in the top three at the Iowa caucuses. 

A caucus is essentially a political party meeting, where members gather to elect delegates who then choose the party’s candidate. The Iowa Democratic caucuses start with electing caucus representatives such as the chair, before moving into the presidential preference section. During this time, the caucus-goers divide into preference groups based on the individual’s preferred candidate. 

The preference groups must be viable, which typically means 15 percent of attendees must be in the group. If it is not viable, then the caucus-goers will be able to join other groups or try to obtain enough people in their own group. Delegates are given to those preference groups, based on the size of the group. 

The results of the 2020 Iowa Caucus were expected to be released between 8:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. Monday night, however, they were delayed due to difficulties with the voting app.

“As part of our investigation, we determined with certainty that the underlying data collected via the app was sound,” said Troy Price, the Iowa Democratic Party chair, in a statement Tuesday.  

“While the app was recording data accurately, it was reporting out only partial data. We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system. This issue was identified and fixed.”   

On Thursday, the full results  were released with Buttigieg leading with 26.2 percent of State Delegate Equivalent votes and Sanders receiving 26.1 percent.  

The next primary will take place in New Hampshire on Feb.11, and the unclear results and difficulties from Iowa may place more pressure on the candidates to perform well in the New Hampshire primary, as well as push the primary further into the spotlight. 

President Trump acquitted on all counts: Recap of Impeachment Trials

by Reyna Estrada / Sports Editor

The U.S. Senate votes to acquit President Trump of both charges imposed against him. Photo courtesy of WHYY.

President Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate on both articles of impeachment, bringing the trials to an end on Wednesday Feb 6. 

The impeachment inquiries originally began in September of 2019, with a whistleblower complaint against Trump for asking the Ukraine President,Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate Joe Biden. Additionally, President Trump confirmed he withheld military aid to Ukraine prior to asking the President to investigate Biden. 

Notes from the phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky show that President Trump asked Ukraine to investigate Biden’s son–Hunter Biden, who was a board member of Burisma Holdings, a private oil and gas extraction company in Ukraine. President Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate H.Biden’s work for Burisma Holdings, suggesting that J.Biden pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor investigating Burisma Holdings. 

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the persecution and a lot of people want to find out about that,” said President Trump in the phone call according to notes of the conversation released by the White House. 

“Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it, it sounds horrible to me.” 

Prior to the discussion of the Biden investigation, Trump mentioned military aid  to Ukraine. 

In late September Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry on Donald Trump, and in December 2019, Pelosi brought forth two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. 

On Dec 18. President Trump was formally impeached by the House of Representatives, which then moved the trials along to the Senate. This eventually resulted in a 52-47, not guilty vote for Article I and a 53-47 not guilty vote for Article II. The vote was mostly down party lines, with only one Republican voting guilty for Article I and no Democrats voting not guilty for either article. 

The day after the final vote, President Trump held a self proclaimed,‘celebration,’ at the white house where he addressed the impeachment results. 

“We went through hell, unfairly, did nothing wrong, did nothing wrong. I’ve done things wrong in my life, I will admit, not purposefully but I have done things wrong but this is what the end result is,” he said. 

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