Washington: President Donald Trump is conceding to President-elect Joe Biden and condemning the violent supporters who stormed the nation’s Capitol Wednesday. In a new video message, Trump has said now that Congress has certified the results, the ‘new administration will be inaugurated January 20’ and his ‘focus now turns to ensuring a smooth orderly and seamless transition of power’. Donald Trump also spoke out against the violence at Capitol and called it ‘heinous attack’. He said the violence left him ‘outraged by the violence lawlessness and mayhem’.
Trump did not address his role in inciting the violence. But he told his supporters that, while he knows they are ‘disappointed’, he wants them to know ‘our incredible journey is only just beginning’.
Impeachment under consideration
Meanwhile lawmakers of both parties have raised the prospect of ousting Trump from office. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that if he wasn’t removed, the House may move forward with a second impeachment.
Though Trump has less than two weeks in office, lawmakers and even some in his administration began discussing the issue Thursday afternoon as Trump first refused to forcefully condemn the violent assault on the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters, and then appeared to excuse it. However, as said earlier, late Thursday evening he spoke out against the violence.
Senior Trump administration officials raised the possibility of invoking Section 4 of the 25th Amendment. It means the forceful removal of Trump from power by his own Cabinet.
Pelosi told a news conference Thursday she is waiting for a decision from vice-president Mike Pence and other Cabinet officials. She challenged several of them by name, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
“Do they stand by these actions?” Pelosi asked. “Are they ready to say that for the next 13 days this dangerous man can do further harm to our country?” said Pelosi.
Trump actions under scanner
Most Democrats, and many Republicans, put the blame squarely on the president after hundreds of protesters bearing Trump flags and clothing broke into the Capitol, Wednesday and caused destruction and mass evacuations. The president had urged the supporters to protest as Congress was counting the electoral votes that confirmed Biden’s win.
Pelosi said ‘a threshold was crossed of such magnitude’ that Trump should not allowed to make any decisions.
Sedition charges applicable
The top federal prosecutor for the District of Columbia on the other hand has said that ‘all options are on the table’ for charging members of the violent pro-Trump mob that stormed the US Capitol – including sedition charges.
Michael Sherwin, acting US attorney for DC, said prosecutors plan to file 15 federal cases Thursday for crimes including unauthorised access and theft of property, and investigators are combing through reams of evidence to bring additional charges. “All of those charges are on the table. We will bring the most maximum charges we can,” he said.
Large number of arrests
More than 90 people have been arrested by police here and more arrests are likely. US attorneys from across the country have vowed to find and bring to justice any residents who participated in the insurrection aimed at thwarting the peaceful transfer of power. Experts say some could face the rarely used seditious conspiracy charge. It’s the same charge former Attorney General William Barr’s Justice Department told prosecutors to consider levying against those who caused violence at protests last summer over the killings of black Americans by police.
In a separate development White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said President Trump’s administration found the siege of the US Capitol to be ‘appalling, reprehensible and antithetical to the American way’.
McEnany said that the White House was committed to the ‘orderly transition of power’ to President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration. She also took pains to try to draw a distinction between the ‘violent rioters’ and other Trump supporters who attended the president’s rally in Washington just before the siege of the Capitol.