In the aftermath of a particularly dark day in America’s recent history, Washington has regained the face it has had since the pandemic hit the country: that of a sleepy city, where most of the shops and restaurants are closed. Donald Trump’s supporters have returned home, leaving behind a White House in turmoil.
→ MAINTENANCE. Assault on Capitol Hill is “a serious warning about the unpredictability of populist leaders”
Donald Trump’s Too Much Fault
Twenty-four hours after the events which shocked America, supporters of Donald Trump are scarce, in Congress as on television sets. Critics emanate from all sides, pointing to the president’s responsibility for the violence committed by his supporters, after what will undoubtedly remain as one of his last meetings of the head of state.
Democrats, in their role, are the most vocal. “What happened on Capitol Hill was an insurgency against the United States, instigated by the president”, launched the future head of the Senate, Chuck Schumer. Before adding: he “Cannot stay in power one more day”.
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His colleague in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, also felt that dismissing Donald Trump was a “Emergency of the utmost importance”.
Democrats suggest two avenues: a second impeachment procedure or the use of 25e amendment, which supposes the agreement of the vice-president and the support of 2/3 of the parliamentarians. Scenarios in both cases unlikely given the timeframe – Joe Biden will be invested on January 20.
But it is in the Republican camp that the tone has radically changed. After having refused, for four years, to oppose the excesses of the president, his closest allies are now distancing themselves. “Don’t count on me anymore, said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a particularly close ally of Donald Trump. Enough is enough “.
As the presidential ship sinks, resignations multiply. A dozen people working in the entourage of the president announced their departure, like Mick Mulvaney, emissary of the United States in Northern Ireland after having been chief of staff of Donald Trump.
Within twenty-four hours, two ministers resigned. “Our country went through a traumatic, totally preventable event that troubled me so much that I cannot ignore it”said Elaine Chao, Minister of Transport, slamming the door.
→ ANALYSIS. At the end of Donald Trump’s term, the Republican party on the brink of fracture
“It is undeniable that your rhetoric has had an impact on the situation, and it is a tipping point for me”, accuses Minister Betsy Devos in a letter to Donald Trump.
Promises of a “smooth” transition
Under pressure from his opponents of yesterday and the new ones, who demand his resignation even in the columns of the Wall Street Journal, and his collaborators, who threaten to abandon him, Donald Trump has ended up complying with the principle of reality.
He launched, Thursday, January 7, a call for “Reconciliation”, a word not very present in his vocabulary since 2016. In a video, the businessman from Queens said to himself “Scandalized by violence”, after having said the day before all the affection he had for the demonstrators, even after the turmoil in Congress.
“We have just experienced an intense election and the emotions are strong”, But “We must calm down”, he added. “I will now focus on an orderly and smooth transition of power”, he assured again, in this message that looks like a concession speech.
In the meantime, the federal justice has opened an investigation into the events at the Capitol and has launched calls for witnesses. She said to investigate the responsibilities of ” all the actors, not just those who were in the building “. Including, therefore, those of Donald Trump.