January 8, 2021
A mob was incited and directed to attack the Capitol by the President of the United States Donald Trump. If you were watching the events in the news couple of years ago, you would have bet there is zero chance an autocratic movement by domestic terrorists would emerge in the United States.
Certification of electoral votes was supposed to be routine, a ceremonial occasion to declare winner of just concluded election but, became what history would remember as a possible coup attempt to thwart the will of the people and disrupt a duly elected Government.
It began as a normal protest, with the instigator Trump addressing the crowd. Trump had given inkling few days earlier that something would go down. “January 6 would be a wild day,” he said. During the Washington gathering, he called the election “the most corrupt in U.S. history” and repeated his claim of voters’ irregularities. Meanwhile, no-one imagined an invasion of the capitol or a complete breach of the symbol of American democracy, an institution that serves as a citadel of U.S. government.
To understand why calling this a coup is not an exaggeration, consider that Trump and his followers filed series of lawsuits thrown out by the courts for lacking proof of election fraud. He tried to convince local election officials to “find” him votes to overturn Biden’s win and requested that Mike Pence violate the Constitution in his favor by refusing to declare Biden winner of the Electoral College, while Pence presides over Senate certification process.
On Wednesday, members of Congress ducked for cover as violent rioters entered the Capitol. The mob descended on the deliberation room scaring lawmakers and capitol workers into running for cover, while the menacing group ransacked congressional offices in a move to intimidate and pressure the Senators to do Trump’s bid.
The unprecedented scene that unfolded in the dome, led to an emergency annulment of the session, the domestic terrorists were there to disrupt certification, a big risk in undermining a democratic process. The siege also overshadowed Democrats historic win in Georgia, flipping two Senate seats that would give them control of the Senate.
In all the chaos, the Capitol Police fell short in its duties, while the National Guard did not respond timely to diffuse the horrible insurrection. With five people dead including Brian Sicknick, a Capitol Police officer, the Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, has tendered his resignation amid call to do so by the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
In another development, both the House and Senate Sergeant at arms also stepped down over failure to prevent a mob of insurrectionists from storming the Capitol, while deliberation was ongoing. Lawmakers are perplexed at the lack of preparedness of law enforcement, since they knew for weeks that Trump was promoting a rally to prevent certification of Biden’s victory.
With the terrible outcome, it is fair to conclude Trump breached his oath to the nation. He’s loyal to himself and not to the country he swore an oath to protect. He encouraged an insurrection to overturn the election he lost, while creating division among Americans. Trump promoted dangerous lies and conspiracy theories his followers believed that led to the destruction in Washington and deaths of those caught in the middle of chaos. He has committed sedition against the nation and deserves a poor citation in the history of American presidency.
Trump knew Vice President Pence was in the Capitol but yet, encouraged rioters to go in and make Pence overturn the election in his favor, telling the crowd to “take action and stop the steal.” He wanted Pence to unilaterally reject state certified results that show Biden won, in disregard of Pence’s role as stated in the Constitution.
Here is a fact, Trump’ term will end in dishonor in a couple of days, while Biden picks up the pieces of rebuilding America. What transpired at the Capitol was a disgraceful act by Trump and his mob, he brought shame to US democracy.
Speaker Pelosi has called for the invocation of the 25th Amendment to remove the President. Many lawmakers are also joining the call for Trump to step down or face impeachment before the transfer of power on January 20th. America has a badly deranged commander in Chief, it is time for him to go, he must be stopped now.
Adeyemi Oshunrinade is an expert in law, foreign relations and the United Nations. He is the author of ‘Wills Law and Contests,’ Constitutional Law-First Amendment ‘Criminal Law-Homicide’ and ‘SAVING LOVE’ available on Amazon. Follow on Twitter @san0670.