- The Washington Times
Wednesday, November 13, 2019

As the impeachment inquiry into President Trump moves into its public-hearings phase Wednesday, a University of Florida student is finding his job as student government president on the line, all over a pricey invite to bring Donald Trump Jr. to the Gainesville school.

The University of Florida’s Student Senate on Tuesday introduced an impeachment resolution against Michael Murphy, student body president, accusing him of abusing his power and having “colluded” to spend $50,000 in student fees to bring the president’s eldest son to campus on Oct. 10.

The school’s politicians point to email correspondence Mr. Murphy had with a Trump campaign consultant, Caroline Wren, through her personal email which contained the Trump Victory log, which she claims was a mistake.

Student senators argue this email is proof Mr. Murphy violated a rule banning the use of student funds for a “political party at any level.” 

“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,” the impeachment resolution reads.

Mr. Murphy denied the accusation to the school’s newspaper, the Independent Florida Alligator, telling them the speech was a speaking event, not affiliated with the campaign and didn’t violate the rules as a result.

The senators countered by pointing to Mr. Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Trump campaign adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle, enthusiastically shared their support for the president, with Ms. Guilfoyle saying he was doing “so much for our country” and he “has the balls to stand up for what’s right.”

She also attacked liberal protestors, telling them “I bet your parents are so proud of you.”

“These are well-known campaign surrogates traveling the country for a political candidate,” Bobby Mermer, co-president of Graduate Assistants United at the University of Florida said to The Washington Post in October. He added: “We would be opposed to the ACCENT bureau using student fees to fund any candidates — Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, it doesn’t matter. Have the campaigns or private funds pay for it, not mandatory student fees.”

Mr. Murphy accuses the senators of having a political bias against Mr. Trump and told the Alligator he turned down a campaign speech from Mr. Sanders because they asked for it to be a campaign speech.

Two-thirds of the senators will have to vote in favor of ousting Mr. Murphy, where he would then be temporarily suspended as a senate trial commences. It would take an affirmative vote by three-fourths of them upon the trial’s conclusion to successfully remove Mr. Murphy from his office.

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