Trump-connected impeachment fails at UF as leftist narrative is torched
- Leftist students at the University of Florida attempted to impeach the student body president.
- The effort stemmed from the student body president's actions in bringing Donald Trump Jr. to campus.
- However, new documents reveal that one administrator also signed off on the event.
The University of Florida Student Government recently moved to impeach Student Body President Michael Murphy for his role in inviting Donald Trump Jr. to campus in October. However, that effort appears to have failed--- at least for now.
On Thursday, the impeachment resolution against Murphy failed in the student government judiciary committee, according to the student newspaper The Alligator, meaning that the impeachment body will not consider it.
New documents obtained exclusively by Campus Reform show that Murphy was not the only one to play a role in bringing Trump, Jr. to campus. Documents show that while Murphy may have initiated contact to bring Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, former Fox News commentator Kimberly Guilfoyle, to campus the University of Florida Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Kim Pace signed off on bringing the president's son to campus "on behalf of the VP for Student Affairs."
The documents, obtained by Campus Reform University of Florida Campus Correspondent Jarrod Rodriguez through an open records request, include the event contract as well as a "rider" agreement, both of which bear Pace's signature. Murphy is not mentioned in the contract.
Campus Reform previously reported that calls for Murphy’s impeachment were centered around email correspondence that Murphy allegedly had with Trump Victory official Caroline Wren. Trump Victory is the fundraising political action committee of Donald J. Trump for President and the Republican National Committee.
UF SG’s impeachment resolution specifically accused Murphy of “malfeasance and abuse of power.” The authors also cited a section in the UF student code that prohibits activity fees being used “in support of...a political party,” and wrote that Murphy “colluded” with the Trump campaign by emailing Wren. They also claimed that Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle were paid with Wren’s collaboration.
UF Student Senator and Judiciary Committee member Colson Douglas told Campus Reform that the contract is evidence of Murphy’s limited involvement in bringing Trump Jr. to campus. He also added that the contract counters UF SG’s narrative.
“SG is acting like Don Jr. signed a contract directly with Michael Murphy,” Douglas said. “However, the reality is the contract makes no reference to the Student Body President. It appears evident to me that it’s difficult to make a malfeasance and abuse of power case when the contract does not involve Michael Murphy and he does not have final authority over University matters.”
On legal concerns regarding Wren’s involvement and the use of student fees, Douglas speculated to Campus Reform that he believes the contract demonstrates the negotiation process was legal, and that the UF administration signed off on the event.
“The contract is between the University of Florida Board of Trustees and the speaker,” Douglas said. “Thus, it would be reasonable to assume that [UF] General Counsel or a lawyer in Student Affairs ensured that this event was legal in every capacity considering the Board of Trustees is being held to the contract. The University of Florida administration has final jurisdiction over any decision enacted by student government.”
Douglas also pointed to the rider, which was edited, and suggested that only an attorney and not a university employee like Pace could have agreed to those rider changes.
Campus Reform asked Pace if she consulted with an attorney before signing the document on behalf of UF. Pace declined to comment and referred Campus Reform to UF spokesman Steve Orlando. Orlando told Campus Reform that the UF General Counsel’s office did not review the event contract before it was signed.
However, Orlando previously told the Gainesville Sun in an email that the event did not violate rules against student fees for political purposes. Orlando added that Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle “did not engage in campaigning,” which would indicate the event was in compliance with student and university codes.
"Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle were advised about UF's policy prior to their appearance and did not engage in campaign activities during the event," Orlando said in the email to the Gainesville Sun.
Murphy’s attorney, Daniel Nordby, told the Gainesville Sun that Murphy did not violate any laws or school policies. Nordby argued that the impeachment attempt instead stems from anti-conservative campus bias.
"This situation is reflective of students on college campuses across America that are intolerant of conservative views," Nordby wrote.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @eduneret