Impeachment process moves forward, political divide widens

ROCKFORD, Ill (WIFR) -- Three college professors chosen by House Democrats spoke at the Impeachment public hearings Wednesday, and a fourth was chosen by Republicans. The imbalance is due to the Democrat majority in the house according to Rockford University political science professor Robert Evans.

Impeachment process continues

President Trump continues to deny putting pressure on Ukraine's President Zelensky. Zelensky also says he didn't feel persuaded. Witnesses that overheard a phone call conversation between the two leaders think differently.

"We are empowered to recommend the impeachment of President Trump to the House if we find that he has committed treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors," says Democratic Representative Jerry Nadler. House Democrats are calling the offense bribery.

Evans tells 23 News this is the most political impeachment process ever.

"There's not enough evidence to convince some Democrats not to vote impeachment, but there's also not enough evidence to convince Republicans to vote for impeachment. So it's a strict party line vote," he explains. Evans says in past impeachments there were cross over votes between party lines.

"Political scientist call it hyper partisanship, extreme partisanship," he says. "Republicans are increasingly more conservative, and Democrats are increasingly more liberal, and that leaves the middle as a big gap. It didn't used to be that way, it's sad."

House Democrats say there is enough evidence to impeach the President on Bribery, but Republicans believe the evidence is flawed and the process is rushed.

"This would be the first impeachment in history where there would be considerable debate, and in my view not compelling evidence of the commission of a crime," says George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley.

Evans says the process is going to continue to move fast.

"All the Republicans will vote against articles of impeachment and it might not be all the democrats who vote for them , there are 30 [or so] democrats who come from districts that President Trump won in the last election, and they're already indicating that they're getting some pressure from the voters back home" Evans explains.

He believes the House will impeach President Trump by Christmas. The Senate will then need a two-thirds vote to convict him, which would remove The President from office. The Senate majority is Republican, and convicting Trump is highly unlikely according to Evans.

He also says this is a great teaching opportunity for his students. "Whether you're interested in American government or not, this is a really big deal. And this is a rare thing, so they understand the seriousness of it."