By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4)– Across the country, Americans watched the first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. Joining them, students in Dr. Rob Preuhs’ political science class at Metro State University in Denver.

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 13: Members of the House Intelligence Committee and their counsels listen to testimony from top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William B. Taylor Jr. as members of the press work during the first public hearings held by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence as part of the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill November 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Saul Loeb – Pool/Getty Images)

It’s an event they want to witness for themselves.

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“They realize that it’s a historic event. The third ever in our country’s history, and they’re interested in how the political theater plays out,” said Preuhs.

Rob Preuhs political science class at MSU Denver

(credit: CBS)

Preuhs thinks the hearings are an important teaching tool. His students, unlike many students before, are able to see firsthand how this rarely witnessed part of American democracy works.

Rob Preuhs

Rob Preuhs (credit: CBS)

“The rules matter, so we kind of put together a discussion about the constitution. How the process of impeachment works, that impeachment itself is a grand jury process that is held in the House of Representatives and then the trial to remove the president is in the Senate. And that’s all part of a broader system of checks and balances and separation of powers,” said Preuhs.

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WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 13: U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), alongside U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) (L), asks questions of witnesses William B. Taylor Jr., top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George P. Kent, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, during testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill November 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Saul Loeb – Pool/Getty Images)

Preuhs also said his students are used to a highly polarized political system and to them the impeachment hearings are just part of politics as usual. So they expect to see a lot of political posturing.

(credit: CBS)

“This is a partisan event to some extent. We should see votes go along partisan lines.”

Preuhs urges his students and all Americans to realize that despite the political theater and partisan spin, this is a very serious and historic event everyone should be watching closely.

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WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 13: U.S. President Donald Trump answers a media question during a press conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the East Room of the White House on November 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. During their meeting, Trump and Erdogan were scheduled to discuss Turkey’s purchase of a Russian air defense system as well as the Turkish offensive against the Kurds in Syria. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

“When we feel a bit overwhelmed by the rhetoric that comes out, I think in some ways we almost become a bit numb to how important this process is, but this is something that we shouldn’t take lightly.”

Michael Abeyta