‘I consider Donald Trump Jr. to be a barren banana stand in the marketplace of ideas. No one would ever mistake him for an intellectual or accomplished individual, so why pay him even close to such?’
That’s Zachariah Chou, a student government senator at the University of Florida, explaining Thursday in an op-ed for the New York Times, why he believes Michael Murphy, the school’s president, is being impeached.
It all began when Murphy asked Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, to give a speech last month at the university.
Chou had no problem with the guests nor their presentation — though he’s no fan — rather he took issue with the payment.
Chou wrote that a group of student body senators initiated the proceedings over a “gross abuse” of the president’s power. He went on raise questions over the use of the $50,000 in mandatory student fees for partisan ends.
First, Murphy has proven to be a huge President Trump fan, having posted pictures of himself at his inauguration and with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in the White House. He is also the son of Dan Murphy, who apparently maxed out donations to President Trump’s 2020 campaign and is a known associate of Trump Jr. Chou also cited emails in which Caroline Wren, a veteran Republican fundraiser, asked Murphy to host the couple.
“The emails were the final straw for me and my colleagues…,” Chou wrote. “On Nov. 12, we filed an impeachment resolution against our student body president for using student fees to advance his own expressed political beliefs and for violating our governing laws that forbid student government funds from being used to support a political party. And that was supposed to be it.”
But, no, that wasn’t the end of it.
“Mr. Murphy has become a conservative martyr,” he said. “For many of his supporters, this is simply another story of campus leftists gone berserk and threatening free speech.” The backlash immediately kicked into high gear as conservatives, like Florida Senator Rick Scott, cried partisan foul:
Don Jr. also chimed in:
Chou, citing several prior conservative personalities visiting the school, claimed that this has nothing to do with the political bent of the speakers and has everything to do with the inappropriate tapping of student funds.
“I have no qualms with free speech,” he explained. “This is an issue of conflicts of interest and fiscal responsibility, revolving around how $50,000 in mandatory student fees ended up going down the drain, in the direction of the swamp.”
Chou asked why Don Jr. didn’t receive speaking fees when he spoke at Grand Canyon University and Colorado State University in the weeks following his University of Florida appearance. He also questioned why didn’t get fees for his UCLA speech, where he was booed.
“Republicans will try to pass this off as another day of partisan politics, but it’s not,” Chou said. “This is about right and wrong, and just like our counterparts in Congress, we are taking a stand for ethical behavior in politics.”