Earlier today (Monday 11 January 2021) Articles of Impeachment against President Donald J. Trump are tabled in Congress. Alongside is a resolution calling on the Vice President, Mike Pence, and his Cabinet colleagues to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office. It is to be debated tomorrow.
Unquestionably, Trump will go down in history as the worst American President ever, unleashing a howling mob on Congress which led directly to the murder of police officer Brian Sicknich. Others died or were seriously injured in the storming of the US Capitol which Trump orchestrated. Inciting violence is a criminal offence and, in my humble opinion M’Lud, Trump should be behind bars.
The US Capitol is, of course, more than just a work-a-day place where laws are made. It is a symbol of American democracy.
The last time the Capitol saw anything remotely similar was in the War of 1812 when the British torched the building (then under construction) in retaliation for the burning of York (now Toronto) by the Americans.
"They could have killed us"
The long-time Trump apologist, South Carolina’s Senator Lindsey Graham, now accepts the result of the Federal Election. He says
“the mob could have blown the building up. They could have killed us all.”
Indeed. I remember being in the UK House of Commons on 4 May 2004 when a condom full of powder was lobbed from the public gallery, hitting the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, on the shoulder before exploding in a purple puff.
Blair appeared unconcerned and for a couple of seconds everyone seemed to find it mildly amusing. And then the realisation dawned that the powder could be deadly anthrax or ricin and we were ordered out of the Chamber.
Afterwards, I recall one of Blair’s Cabinet colleagues telling me of a conversation he had with the then head of MI5, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller. He was worrying about the safety of MPs. She seemed more concerned about the impact of a successful attack on the physical fabric of Parliament, an institution symbolising the British State. Hmmmm. Which would have the greatest long-term impact? The loss of a few MPs or images of Big Ben, reduced to a stump of smouldering rubble by a terrorist’s bomb?
Our memories of the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January 2021 will remain vivid long after Trump’s Tweets have faded away.