UNO students learn about impeachment process at “Pizza and Politics”


Koichi Iwasaki

A woman is speaking to a group of students
Rhonda Saferstein, Ph.D., discusses the process of impeachment with students at “Pizza and Politics.” Photo by Koichi Iwasaki/the Gateway

The UNO Department of Political Science held “Pizza and Politics” on Thursday, Nov. 21 to discuss the process of impeachment. Rhonda Saferstein, Ph.D., explained what happens during an impeachment and how it connects to the campus community.

Saferstein said many students do not know what the word “impeachment” means or how it works. She also said she wanted to explain the facts about impeachment reports these days because she strongly believes factual information is critically important, and she teaches how to find facts as a political scientist.

As Saferstein said, facts are critically important for impeachment. According to Article 2, Section 4 of the United States Constitution, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Suspected people should be judged based on facts. Saferstein added there are a lot of similarities between Nixon’s impeachment and the ongoing trial. She said there’s abuse of power, obstruction of congress, obstruction of justice and bribery. However, she pointed out “there are different narratives that are being tossed out.”

“‘It isn’t that President Trump was holding back money for personal gain. He did it because he was concerned about corruption of Ukraine.’ You can say that, except you look at the facts—it isn’t borne out by the facts,” Saferstein said.

As every testified person has said, Trump doesn’t like collusion with Ukraine, but he indeed needs help with his reelection, and he was holding money hostage for that purpose, Saferstein said.

Now, it seems to be hard to differentiate truth from untruth. Saferstein said data is one of tools to find facts because data shows factual information.

“I am over it on TV. I have learned all about it or as much as I want to learn,” said attendee Kate Hughes, referencing the every-day impeachment reports. “Between the Trump team’s disgraceful middle school level petulance and the Democrats dour finger pointing, it is hard to feel noble, backing either side.”