On January 6th, Trump supporters rioted at the US Capitol building, forcing members of Congress to stop their electoral count and shelter in place. These riots have since been recognized and shunned worldwide by the prime ministers of Norway, Denmark, Britain, Iceland, and other countries who labeled the riots a disgrace and called on President Trump to rebuke the rioters. However, not only did Trump never rebuke the riots, but he seemingly sparked them in the first place.
As of January 13th, the House voted to impeach Trump for the second time. This historical second impeachment was based on his incitement of the riot and subsequent violence at the US Capitol. This is not without evidence, as his encouragement of the violence seems to have begun long before January 6th.
As early as December 19th, it seemed that Trump had set the date for the riots at the Capitol. Via his now-suspended Twitter account, Trump tweeted, “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th, Be there, will be wild!”
Just two days before the riot, at his “Save America” rally, Trump continuously claimed that he had won the election despite the confirmed win of Joe Biden. Based on this fraudulent claim, he told his supporters that “very different rules” applied to them, and even encouraged his supporters to “[march] over to the Capitol building… and make [their] voices heard.” He asked his supporters not just to protest the certification of Biden’s win, but to stop the certification altogether: “We will stop the steal… fight like hell.” (You can read the rest of his speech here.)
Trump even threw his current Vice President, Mike Pence, under the bus. Trump insinuated that Pence would endanger himself by accepting Biden’s electoral win. This comment implies violent backlash against Pence, and Trump’s supporters seemed to follow through on this promise of endangerment. At the Capitol riots, protestors hung gallows and chanted “Hang Mike Pence,” likely in response to Trump’s newfound distaste for his VP after Pence could not adjust the Georgian electoral votes.
When called upon to rebuke the riots, Trump posted a video to his now-suspended Twitter speaking directly to the rioters, stating: “We love you, you’re very special.” He continues to call the election fraudulent, again claiming votes were ”stolen,” thereby validating the rioters’ actions.
The unprecedented severity of the D.C. riot was enough to encourage ten Republicans to vote to impeach Trump in the house, leading to a 232 to 197 final vote for impeachment. With the inauguration just seven days away from the time this House vote occurred, it’s possible that the conviction trial in the Senate will stretch into Biden’s term. Should Trump be convicted, he would be barred from holding any federal office in the future. This would keep him out of the 2024 run for presidency, a plan which he already announced.
In any case, I do not expect Trump’s infantile fight to be over just yet. With inauguration day rapidly approaching, we are all nervously anticipating violence and nation-wide strife as Biden enters office. As we enter Biden’s new era, I urge you all to stay safe, stay sane, and eat the rich.