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Political science professor offers opinion on Jan. 6 insurrection at Capitol, impeachment | The Triangle

Political science professor offers opinion on Jan. 6 insurrection at Capitol, impeachment

Photograph courtesy of VIctoria Pickering at Flickr.

In the final weeks of Trump’s presidency, the country watched on Jan. 6 as an insurrection of the U.S. Capitol took place during the electoral college certification of votes. As politicians were in hiding, talks of impeachment grew, resulting in speculation as to what the fate of President Trump’s final days in office would become.

The insurrection intended to disrupt the certification of electoral college votes of an election that President Trump called rigged and fraudulent — claims which have been disputed multiple times since the November election. The speech, given by Trump before the insurrection, pushed the falsehoods of a stolen election, stated that Vice President Mike Pence would be a coward if he did not object to the election results, and encouraged the mob to walk to the capitol to try and give the “weak” Republicans “the pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.” Trump also implied that his supporters would be “patriots” if they attacked the Capitol.

“We’ve never seen a situation where there has been this type of behavior that exhibited itself at the United States Capitol. There have been other presidents that have been pushed to the brink of being unsteady in terms of their mental state. Never in the sense of someone going out and inciting a crowd and having that crowd go and storm the capitol,” Dr. William Rosenberg, a Drexel professor of political science, said in an interview with WURD Radio.

Granted, President Trump did not walk with his supporters to the capitol, as he claimed he would. Rather, he remained at the White House, watching coverage on TV. The insurrection itself put politicians and capitol police in danger, and officer Brian Sicknick died as a result of injuries he sustained on-duty that day. As the riot grew increasingly violent, it became clear that what was believed to be a secure federal building was underprepared for an attack. Calls for the second impeachment of President Donald Trump intensified, citing that he had instigated the attack.

Promptly following the events of Jan. 6, Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced articles of impeachment. On Jan. 13, the House voted to impeach President Trump, making him the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. He was impeached in one of the most bipartisan votes in history. The Senate has yet to hold the trial, which will occur during the new Biden Administration. Pelosi has signaled that she will soon send the articles to the Senate, but has not yet specified when “soon” may be.

When the trial takes place in a 50-50 Senate, it is unclear where some of the former-President’s supporters will stand. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had spent much of the last four years standing by and supporting Trump, has signaled that he believes the mob was “fed lies” and were provoked by Trump. Aside from the impeachment vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is planning on a separate vote to bar Trump from running for office again.

Although the Biden Administration has arrived, it is clear that the final days of the Trump presidency will linger over the legal system for days to come.