University of Florida student body president Michael C. Murphy invited Donald Trump Jr. to make what proved to be a controversial speech on campus last month, and now Murphy is facing his own impeachment inquiry over the matter. The Tampa Bay Times notes the parallels between Murphy's impeachment battle and President Trump's: Both are "struggle[s] between the executive and legislative branches, fanned by partisan loyalties" and involve "smoking guns," in Murphy's case an email rather than a phone call. The crux of the issue: whether Murphy, who received a formal resolution for his impeachment Tuesday afternoon signed by more than 100 students and alumni, paid Trump Jr. and Trump campaign adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle $50,000 in publicly funded student activity fees for what amounted to a 2020 campaign appearance.
Public funds cannot legally be used to support political campaigns, and Murphy insists the speeches were not a Trump re-election campaign stop. But critics point to the fact that Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle (who is Trump Jr.'s girlfriend, the Washington Post notes) mostly talked about President Trump's successes since taking office, plus the aforementioned email, in which Murphy coordinated the event with the national finance consultant for Trump Victory, a fundraising committee for the president’s campaign. She says Murphy simply approached her to discuss bringing Trump Jr. to campus, and "I followed up with him via my private email in my personal capacity and mistakenly forgot to remove my Trump Victory signature. After an initial call to discuss a potential visit, University of Florida representatives were connected to Donald Trump Jr.’s office." Murphy will be allowed to present counter-evidence before the proceedings are finished. (Read more Donald Trump Jr. stories.)