A Week After the Attack on Capitol Hill and the Week Ahead

                Lubna Kabir

Seven days is a long time if you believe the Old Testament (Bible) as that’s how many days it took for God to create the world. Seven days is too short if you are a Republican who won’t hold the Senate trial (aka protect Donald Trump). On January 10, 11 pm EST, I had mentioned four things can happen. So, let me give an update along those four paths and look ahead Seven days:

Path A: Republican cabinet decided not to activate the 25th amendment. On the day of his deadline, Tuesday 12, Vice President Mike Pence sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi stating he has no intention of invoking the 25th amendment.

Republican cabinet 

• The newly sworn in 117th Congress adopted a nonbinding measure just before midnight on Tuesday January 12. Only one Republican representative joined Democrats for final vote of 223 Yes against the 205 No to implore Mr. Pence to declare Mr. Trump “incapable of executing the duties of his office and to immediately exercise powers as acting president.”

Path B: Wednesday January 13 evening Donald Trump became the first US President to be impeached twice. He was impeached seven days after he incited his followers to attack Capitol Hill, with weapons and intention to hang Vice President Mike Pence, take Speaker Nancy Pelosi as hostage, and stop the formal certification of the election which he lost.

Trump impeached again 

• 10 Republicans, including the third highest ranked Republican in the House, voted with Democrats to bring final vote of 232 Yes against 197 No votes (4 members did not vote) thereby, charging him with “incitement of insurrection.”

Trump urges Americans to be ‘united’ but doesn’t mention impeachment

• The two Democratic senators who won the run-off in Georgia have not yet been officially sworn-in. The Georgia certification will take place on later than January 22. Senator Mitch McConnell is technically still Senate majority leader. He has already stated he will not call Senate to convene prior to the scheduled January 19, the day before Joe Biden is sworn in as 46th President.

• On January 20, newly minted Vice President Kamala Harris’ senate seat will also go to Alex Padilla. Hence, Warnock, Ossoff, Harris and Padilla all have to be sworn in before Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer can become Senate majority leader and the Republican nicknamed “mitchka” by my Bangladeshi-American friend becomes minority leader.

President Joe Biden & Vice President Kamala Harris

• Trump’s trial in the Senate can start as early as January 20, the first day of Joe Biden’s presidency. The Senators are themselves both witness to the main charge of assault on their own chamber, as well as the jurors- a rather unique case. Other government officials who were impeached have been tried after they left their post hence, Trump can be tried as a former President.

• Two-thirds votes are needed in the Senate to convict Trump. Some analysts estimate up to 20 Republican senators will cross party lines but lot can happen in the remaining seven days of the Trump presidency.

• If the Senate were to convict him, the Constitution allows a subsequent vote to bar an official from holding “any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States” and strip him of the privileges enjoyed by former presidents. That vote would require only a simple majority of senators.

• There is no precedent, however, for disqualifying a president from future office, and the issue could end up before the Supreme Court.

Path C: President Trump can resign. As of now the speeches and actions of President Trump and Vice President Pence does not hint at this possibility.

Path D:  Trump can continue to be President for seven days, and completely pardon all the people who were involved in the January 6, 2021 attack on Capitol Hill. He can pardon his advisors and family members. Though it has never been done before, there is a possibility that Trump can pardon himself. The likelihood of Presidential pardons is increasing. Trump did give a speech shortly after being Impeached on January 13 where he made no mention of impeachment. Though he did condemn last week’s violence in more polite words than the last few days, Trump did not take responsibility for his role in the events.

Attack on Capitol Hill/ January 6, 2021

• I had mentioned continued attack on the Capitol building in DC, or any other government property in any city, or large street protests by Trump supporters in any city can happen. I now add social media companies like Twitter, Facebook to this list since it has blocked Trump’s account and access. In addition, traditional media outlets could also be targets of Trump’s Terrorist Supporters. USA is not only the longest running democracy in the world, it is also the beacon of capitalism. So, while Donald Trump’s Senate trial is on hold, interestingly the business world is taking actions:

• PGA board voted to exercise its right to “terminate the agreement” with Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey. A British golf organization said the British Open will not be played at a Trump property in the “foreseeable future.” The e-commerce company Shopify stopped helping run the online Trump Store, and New York City said it was canceling contracts with Trump for skating rinks and a golf course in the Bronx.

Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey

• One of Trump’s biggest lenders, Deutsche Bank, have reportedly said they would no longer lend to Trump’s company, raising the prospect that the president may have to dig into his own pockets to pay off his loans if he can’t refinance. New York’s Signature Bank, once so close to Trump it put his daughter Ivanka on its board, has cut ties with him.

Lubna Kabir, New Jersey USA.

•• Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the position of banglavision online news portal.

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