Donald Trump Jr.’s book tour might have claimed the political career of a University of Florida student named Michael Murphy. He serves as the student body president at the school, and he used some $50,000 in publicly funded student activity fees to bring Trump Jr. to campus last month for what some are now decrying as a campaign event, which it’s illegal to use those public funds for. In the wake of an email surfacing showing Murphy communicating with a staffer from the Trump Victory fundraising committee to bring Trump Jr. to campus, other student body leaders have now launched a push to impeach him, a mechanism that has only been used once before in the school’s history.
The impeachment resolution — which was signed by more than 100 students and alumni as of Tuesday afternoon — bluntly states, in part:
‘By using student fees to advance his own expressed political beliefs at the expense of the… Student Government writ large, Mr. Murphy not only endangered students marginalized by the speakers’ white nationalist supporters, but also abused his power to advance a particular political party at the expense of the students he should represent.’
Murphy has claimed that the Trump Jr. appearance (which his girlfriend former Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle also attended) was not a campaign event, but the facts of the situation tell a different story. Besides his connection with Trump Victory, while there, Trump Jr. droned on about the supposed successes of his father and criticized former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s also a leading Democratic presidential primary candidate and may face the elder Trump in the 2020 general election.
President Donald Trump himself has even promoted Trump Jr.’s book — in short, the stop is not extricable from the Trump campaign operation.
The Campaign Legal Center’s Senior Director Adav Noti noted:
‘Campaign officials shouldn’t be giving paid speeches to charitable organizations. That shouldn’t be happening. So all the discussions about whether they broke the law or not shouldn’t obscure the bigger point that they just don’t care about the law.’
Murphy himself is a documented Trump supporter. He’s been photographed at Trump events in D.C., and his father donated a full $5,600 to Trump’s campaign operation just this year.
At this point, a selection of members of the student Senate will be faced with considering Murphy’s case, in which he’ll have the chance to present counter-evidence against those who’ve brought the impeachment resolution. After that, the full student Senate will be tasked with considering his case and will have to vote with a two-thirds majority to remove him from office.
The case parallels what’s occurring this week in D.C. This Wednesday, House impeachment investigators got their first public hearings going, and they’ve already announced eight more witnesses who will be appearing publicly starting next week. The best defenses that the GOP has been able to come up with include pointing to the fact that Trump declared there’s nothing wrong with his scrutinized scheme to get dirt from Ukraine on the Bidens, as if there’s any judicial standard anywhere according to which an investigation subject themselves gets to declare case closed.