Trump continues to make history, but for the wrong reasons – Ellie Hewes
On 6th January, the US Capitol descended into chaos after Donald Trump vehemently delivered a speech, which once again focused on the election results which made Joe Biden victorious. In an address which lasted just over an hour, he urged his supporters to march on Congress, where various politicians had met to certify Biden’s victory. Trump exclaimed that he would never accept Biden’s win and proclaimed that America “will have an illegitimate president”, which “we can’t let happen”. He declared that they needed to act in the name of democracy, which has been stripped from America following the fraudulent election.
At the scenes, dozens of protestors broke into the building and tens of thousands gathered outside to support Trump’s claims. The police lost control of the situation and many Congressmen were forced to flee. Violence ensued and the door of the House Chamber had to be barricaded. Despite this, some protestors managed to break into various offices, such as the vice-president’s and at least one protestor reached the Senate Chamber. Five people died and 60 people were arrested following the rally.
Since the rally, Trump has been condemned by many prominent individuals around the world, which included Boris Johnson, who spoke of the “disgraceful scenes in the US Congress”, which should represent the heart of democracy worldwide. Various EU Officials have also expressed their shock and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel proclaimed how “furious and saddened” she was by the violence incited by Trump. Meanwhile, various Chinese Officials also claimed that the US politicians were hypocrites and focused on the US’ support of pro-democracy supporters in Hong Kong who had stormed the city’s legislative building in 2018. They mockingly state that “Nancy Pelosi once referred to the Hong Kong riots as a beautiful sight to behold – it remains yet to be seen whether she will say the same about recent development in Capitol Hill”.
Joe Biden has also spoken out, passionately stating that we should not “call them protestors; they were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists”. He calls for it to “end now” in order to “allow democracy to go forward”. The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo has also spoken out, proclaiming that “lawlessness and rioting – is always unacceptable”. He states that he is not opposed to peaceful protests but declares that violence is unnecessary.
One of the greatest consequences, which will be written in the history books, will be the fact that Trump has become the first president of the US to be impeached twice, after he was charged with “incitement of insurrection”. His article of impeachment stated that he “repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the presidential election results were fraudulent and should not be accepted” and also stated that “he willfully made statements to the crowd that encouraged and foreseeably resulted in lawless action”, which led to the needless loss of life. He will face a trial in the Senate, however this will not occur while he is president.
Biden will be inaugurated on 20th January, and Trump has tweeted that he is not planning on attending the event. This makes him the first president in more than 150 years, and the fourth in US history to do so.