Reporters Diary: Bumpy ride of Biden to White House; High profile commentaries on Capitol Hill siege Ripples of Capitol Hill invasion

Prologue

The global village concept of information penetration beyond boundaries, on Wednesday 6, exposed   to the world how vulnerable the American democracy can indeed be. Democracy in America was drilled like never before in the history of the country. The Capitol Hill imbroglio was a shock not only to the Americans but the world ostensibly because hers, benchmarks the standard for countries operating democratic governance. The Congress- Senate and House of Representatives in America is the root of democratic government in the United States. The torching of the parliamentary building goes substantially beyond the mere defacing of the building to impinging on democracy in the United States.

On Donald Trump and his nationalistic style of administration which court the cliché “make America great again,” though disputed by many as reflected in Meghan McCain’s comment “… America of John McCain has no need to be made great because America was already great.” Turbulence aptly describes a sizable chunk of his four-year tenure in office. Indeed, it is a mixed bag striking both low and high cords disproportionately. “This is how the Trump presidency ends. Not with a whimper, but with a bang.” I suppose this thread from a recent piece titled- A deadly day and Trump’s legacy, would suffice a description of his era.

 

Bumpy ride of Biden to White House

The incumbent president, Donald Trump has put the November 3 presidential election result in disarray, describing it as fraud.

First, votes were recounted twice in Pennsylvania and Arizona was on the line as well. And not satisfied with the outcome, multiple law suits were filled in courts in perceived locations of rigging. The cases were dismissed in all the instances for lack of substantive evidence.

The inability of Trump to upturn the results through legal process could be explained as his reason for resorting to self-help.

Mr Trump had addressed a “Save America Rally” outside the White House, where he encouraged supporters to keep contesting the election result: “Our country has had enough and we will not take it anymore.”

“We will never give up, we will never concede”, Trump tells supporters

For weeks, Donald Trump had been pointing to 6 January as a day of reckoning. It was when he told his supporters to come to Washington DC, and challenge Congress – and Vice-President Mike Pence – to discard the results of November’s election and keep the presidency in his hands.

For days Mr Trump had been piling pressure on his vice-president to block certification of the result. But in a letter to Congress on Wednesday, Mr Pence said he had no “unilateral authority to decide which electoral votes should be counted”.

In declaring the final vote totals, Mr Pence said this “shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons elected president and vice-president of the United States.”

Egged on in an extraordinary rally across town by an aggrieved Trump, a flag-waving mob had broken down barricades outside the Capitol and swarmed inside, rampaging through offices and onto the usually solemn legislative floors even as throngs climbed onto risers set up for Biden’s inauguration.

Wednesday’s chaotic scenes followed months of escalating rhetoric from Mr Trump and some Republican allies that sought to undermine the result of the 3 November election. The invasion of the Capitol by the president’s supporters some armed, was an event without precedent in modern American history.

Lawmakers resumed the session after police managed to remove the mob, which had been encouraged by President Trump in a bid to overturn his defeat.

U.S Senate and House of Representatives rejects objections to throw out Georgia and Pennsylvania’s electoral votes for Biden.

After objections by some Republican lawmakers to overturn the result in Arizona and Pennsylvania were rejected, Congress led by Vice President Mike Pence formally certified the final electoral college vote with Mr Biden receiving 306 votes to Mr Trump’s 232.

This essentially closes the door on the unparalleled and deeply controversial effort by Trump and his loyalists to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” he said.

Mr Trump posted a recorded video on Twitter saying: “I know your pain. I know you’re hurt… We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now. We have to have peace.”

“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”

 

High profile commentaries on Capitol Hill siege

Responding to the violence, Mr Biden said the mob’s activity “bordered on sedition” and that democracy was “under unprecedented assault”.

“To storm the Capitol, to smash windows, to occupy offices on the floor of the United States Senate, rummaging through desks, on the House of Representatives, threatening the safety of duly elected officials. It’s not protest; it’s insurrection.”

“This is not dissent. It’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition.”

And continuing he said, “the scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America, do not represent who we are.”

Vice-President Mike Pence, said the violence had been a “dark day in the history of the United States Capitol”.

Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell in an emotional speech from the chamber floor, saying: “If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral.”

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer blasted the mob at the Capitol as “rioters and insurrectionists, goons and thugs, domestic terrorists”, saying the president “bears a great deal of the blame”.

Senator Kelly Loeffler, who lost her bid for election in Georgia’s vote on Tuesday, said she could no longer in good conscience vote against certification as she had originally planned, citing the “abhorrent” invasion of the Capitol.

President Barack Obama said history would rightly remember the assault on the Capitol as “a moment of great dishonour and shame for our nation”.

Former President George W Bush said: “It is a sickening & heartbreaking sight. This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic, not our democratic republic.”

 

Ripples of Capitol Hill invasion

In a significant new crackdown, social media companies pulled down the video on charges it aggravated violence and Twitter temporarily suspended his account, warning the tweet-loving Trump of a permanent ban if he does not conform to rules on civic integrity.

The outgoing president’s Twitter and Facebook accounts were later frozen.

Twitter froze Mr Trump’s account, saying it would be locked for 12 hours. The social media giant demanded he delete three tweets that it said could stoke violence and threatening “permanent suspension”. Facebook and Instagram followed suit.

Twitter later joined Facebook and Instagram to permanently suspend the personal account of outgoing United States President Donald Trump. Twitter says its action is “due to the risk of further incitement of violence “.

As a result, Trump can no longer access his account that has 88.7 million followers with his tweets and profile picture deleted.

At least 52 people have been arrested, the vast majority of them for violating the 18:00 to 06:00 curfew.

US Justice department said it had arrested several suspects, including Richard Barnett, a supporter of US President Donald Trump who invaded the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and another man found with 11 styrofoam-enhanced Molotov cocktails in his truck.

Some people have called for Trump, his attorney Rudy Giuliani and others to be charged with incitement for openly encouraging the president’s supporters to take action just hours before the mob stormed the Capitol.

U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu from California, a Democratic member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, tweeted on Saturday that the article of impeachment, which has so far had 180 co-sponsors, will be brought forward during Monday’s pro forma session in the lower chamber.

Lieu, Congressmen David Cicilline from Rhode Island, and Jamie Raskin from Maryland wrote the article of impeachment seeking to remove Trump for “incitement of insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

Two Republican Senators including Chris Christie, Trump’s former adviser have asked Trump to resign.

Trump has said he will not attend the January 20 inauguration of president-elect, Joe Biden.

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