As the United States House of Representatives concluded the historic second impeachment of President Donald Trump, the incumbent released a video from the White House condemning last week’s attack on the Congress.
Ignoring his bipartisan impeachment by a majority of the House, with the support of 10 Republicans, President Trump focused instead on the assault on Capitol Hill on 6 January, warning his supporters that violence and vandalism had no place in the country or within his movement.
His words are seen as an effort to lower tensions after the FBI warned that armed protests were being planned in all 50 State Capitals over the proliferation of misinformation regarding President-Elect Joe Biden’s election win last November.
The second impeachment comes just 13 months after the first. The impeachment is for inciting an insurrection amid his efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the 2020 Presidential election results while threatening the peaceful transition of power.
“In a bipartisan way, the House demonstrated that no one is above the law, not even the President of the United States, that Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our country and that, once again, we honour that oath of office to protect and defend the constitution of the United States, so help us, God. And now, I, sadly, and with a heartbroken over what this means to our country, of a president who incites insurrection, will sign the enforcement of the article of impeachment,” says Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
President Donald Trump impeached for the second time:
Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, who has privately welcomed House moves to impeach, issued a statement saying there was simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-Elect Biden’s inauguration, meaning a Senate trial will only commence after Trump has left office, as the President vastly recalibrated his message to supporters.
“I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week; violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement. Making America great again has always been about defending the rule of law, supporting the men and women of law enforcement, and upholding our nation’s most sacred traditions and values. Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for.”
While 10 Republicans backed Democrats in supporting impeachment, 197 GOP members sought to block the move despite being the very victims of the assault on Congress – as Democratic lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attested to.
“I had a pretty traumatising event happen to me, and I do not know if I can even disclose the full details of that event due to security concerns, but I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die. And, you have all of those thoughts, where you know at the end of your life, and all of these thoughts come rushing to you, and that’s what happened to a lot of us on Wednesday. I did not think, I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive.”
A former Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from New York, John LeBoutillier says the level of violence at last week’s protests was shocking:
Speaker Pelosi Thursday has thanked the National Guard with some 20 000 boots on the ground in Washington DC to secure the upcoming inauguration of Joe Biden.
“I hope that the fact that you are here will be a deterrent to those that have come to undermine our constitution. So again, I want you to be safe. I want you not to take any risks. But we want the message to be clear that the Capitol, our democracy, our constitution, are safe because of your patriotism.”
And because the 20 January inauguration is happening during a raging pandemic, it will be scaled back significantly. Biden will become the oldest person to take the Presidential Oath of office, preceded by the first woman in Kamala Harris to be sworn in as Vice President.
The national anthem will be performed by Lady Gaga, an additional musical performance from Jennifer Lopez, and in lieu of the inauguration balls that are all cancelled, actor Tom Hanks will host a 90-minute Prime Time Special Celebrating America.