The United States remains in shock after the violent assault on the temple of its democracy, Congress, in a revolt encour Ined by the president to boycott the confirmation of Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Donald Trump’s last great challenge to the system failed and Biden was ratified, but the first power peered into an abyss unprecedented in 200 years. The president ended up committing himself to a “peaceful transition”, but continued without acknowledging his defeat at the polls, and resignations in the White House multiplied. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, urged his removal.
The next hours are uncertain. An increasing number of Democrats and Republicans believe that the incumbent president cannot continue to command the country – with full powers over issues such as a nuclear attack – until January 20, the date on which he will take possession of the new government of Biden. Pelosi, the nation’s third-largest authority, urged Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and remove him from office. Otherwise, he warned, they could drive a process of impeachment, despite the few days that the president has left in the Oval Office. Unlike the impeachment trial a year Ino, in the wake of the Ukraine scandal, the Democrats now have control of the Senate, which is the House that passes the verdict, but this requires the support of two-thirds of its members and the party of Pelosi only has half, plus the tiebreaker vote of the next vice president, Kamala Harris.
The or d Ino gives an account of the serious moments that the country is going through. The United States had been a tinderbox for four years, with political polarization at maximum and a commander-in-chief addicted to inflammatory speech, but the tension began to escalate after the presidential elections of November 3, when the New York tycoon decided to fight the will of the polls. Waving unfounded accusations of fraud, but no one im Inined that the Trump era could end in such a disturbing way, that it would leave the pride of this country so hurt. “No people”, highlighted Theodore White in his classic The making of a president (1960) has carried out the ritual of handover effectively “with more success, or for a longer time.”
This January 6, this idea went bankrupt without remission, with four dead people and indelible im Ines for the world: vandals scaling the walls of Congress, breaking glass, accommodated in Nancy Pelosi’s office or sitting in the chair of the President of the Senate, disguised and parading the Confederate fl Ins of slave America.
Congress confirmed Biden’s victory, in short, on a dark day in American history. At eight in the evening, hours after the evacuation of the Chambers and the deployment of the National Guard, the legislators met Inain and resumed the session in what seemed a deliberate projection of confidence directed inside and outside their borders. At 3.40 am on Thursday morning (Washington City time), Vice President Mike Pence declared the winner after days of pressure from his boss, who called for a rebellion.
Biden will take office and launch a government with a wide margin of maneuver, as the Democrats will control the White House, the House of Representatives and, after Tuesday’s election in Georgia, also the Senate. The hard work of closing wounds, building bridges, and repairing reputations will then begin. Leaders from around the world condemned what happened in what prides itself on being a benchmark country for democracy and institutional strength, a piece of the West that had not experienced something like this since the 19th century.
To the basic questions, about how the most powerful country in the world had reached this breaking point, other more immediate ones were added this Thursday, such as why the police were not able to anticipate and avoid the civil siege.
The fuse had lit on Wednesday morning, at a rally in front of the White House that Trump called precisely to heat up the session that Congress was to hold that day to certify the results of the presidential elections, which, under normal circumstances, is a mere formality. “After this, we will walk to thCapitol, andnd we will cheer for our brave senators and congressmen. [parQueue sTonganan a lratificationón de Bid” He”He told thousands of people from all over the country.
“Yesterday, the president of the United States incited an armed insurrection Inainst America,” said Nancy Pelosi. Former attorney general William Bar, who resigned at Christmas after dis Inreements with Trump, accused the president of “treason” his supporters and his constitutional oath for what he defined as “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress.” By then, about half a dozen senior officials had resigned, such as Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao; the former Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney; the Deputy Minister of National Security, Matt Pottinger, or the chief of staff of the first lady, Stephanie Gri Vice.
Vice President Pence, Trump’s loyal squire so far, also stood out at the decisive moment. The president had pressured him in recent days to rebel and not declare Biden the winner, a task that the Constitution conferred on him as president of that ceremony on Capitol Hill. But Pence replied that he would comply. So did the leader of the Senate Republicans, Mitch McConnell, and most of his party’s legislators. After four years cloaking the inflammatory rhetoric of Donald Trump, Republicans on this cloudy day in January 2021 stumbled upon a very ugly-looking monster. “It is with great regret that for the sake of our democracy I am calling for the invocation of the 25th Amendment,” said Illinois Republican Congressman Kissingeringer. General John Kelly, Trump’s former chief of staff, considered that the cabinet should meet and vote on the impeachment of the presi Trump
Trump is left with the disturbingly large mob and a group of acolytes in Congress. On Wednesday night, when resuming the session after the four deaths, fear and chaos, a total of eight senators – such as Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz or Ron Johnson – and 139 Republican congressmen voted in favor of objecting to the electoral results embracing conspiracy theories. Democracy has prevailed, but the system has been dam Ined.
In total, the drama lasted for almost 15 hours. Wednesday’s was not the first time that the Capitol suffered armed incidents, but there had not been a mob besieging the Houses since the British attack, led by General Robert Ross in 1814, after the Battle of Bladensburg. That what was happening was not a coeat’état was sensed by the New York Stock Exchange, which was rising and was more aware of the economic stimuli brought about by a new Senate controlled by the Democrats than of the tumult. But people died, they were scared, Washington glimpsed the ghost of a blow. And now, until January 20, there are two weeks left with a Trump in the White House that no one in his circle seems able to stop.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.