The Current

Unlikely Trump will be removed from office, but keep him away from 'sharp objects': conservative commentator

Calls for U.S. President Donald Trump to be removed from office might not be most prudent course of action, says John Fund, a columnist with the National Review.

Accountability for riot needed on many levels, beyond president: U.S. history prof

Trump supporters protest inside the U.S. Capitol. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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After a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, a Conservative commentator doesn't think politicians "could move fast enough" to remove U.S. President Donald Trump from office.

"The 25th Amendment requires a majority of the cabinet to meet with the vice president and execute that," said John Fund, a columnist with the National Review.

"You'd have to ask yourself: if the president is angry now, how angry would he be if he saw a majority of his cabinet and the vice president meet?" he told The Current's Matt Galloway.

"I think probably the more prudent course would be to make sure that sharp objects are kept away from him for 14 days, and he leaves office peacefully."

Pro-Trump rioters overran barricades to enter the Capitol building Wednesday, in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting Congress's formal confirmation of Joe Biden as the incoming president. One woman was shot inside the building and later died.

There needs to be a clear line drawn in the sand that this kind of behaviour will not be acceptable, cannot happen again.- Joanne Freeman

Lawmakers were rushed to safety, but returned late Wednesday night, certifying Biden's victory in the early hours of Thursday morning.

At a nearby rally earlier Wednesday morning, Trump had encouraged the crowd to march on the Capitol, himself vowing to never concede, and repeating unsubstantiated claims of fraud in the November election.

On Thursday, Trump promised an "orderly transition" of power on Jan. 20, but top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer called for Trump to be removed from office, echoing a call from the Republican governor of Vermont, Phil Scott.

Political science professor Pearl Dowe thinks that won't happen.

"We have seen over the last four years that there's not a political will to hold this man accountable for anything, so I don't think he will be removed," said Dowe, a professor of political science and African American studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.

How the siege on the U.S. Capitol unfolded

The National

2 months ago
3:44
CBC News’ David Common breaks down what happened on Capitol Hill on Wednesday and how U.S. President Donald Trump stoked discontent among his supporters before he lost the election. 3:44

Accountability for the chaos does not stop with the president, but "is of vital importance right now on all kinds of levels," said Joanne Freeman, a professor of U.S. history and American studies at Yale University.

"There needs to be a clear line drawn in the sand that this kind of behaviour will not be acceptable, cannot happen again," she told Galloway.

"[It] really needs to be tracked down to the ground as far as what the dynamics of it were, how it unfolded as it did, and really the basics of what happened at the Capitol yesterday, and who allowed it to happen."

Trump family's political clout 'depreciating'

Despite no proof for election fraud, several Republicans had pledged to use the baseless claims as grounds to object to Biden's confirmation Wednesday. Several have now been criticized for and accused of adding fuel to the attack on the Capitol building.

Fund said some were expressing their concerns around the election, and some were "grandstanding for political advantage," perhaps around plans to run for president in 2024.

Freeman said that kind of grandstanding from people in office "is never just rhetoric," and has real-world consequences.

"It becomes a statement … and Americans take that kind of language seriously," she said.

Few workable options for removing Trump from office, says law prof

World

2 months ago
6:18
The few constitutional tools available to remove U.S. President Donald Trump from office are unlikely to work, says Lawrence Douglas, a professor of law at Amherst College in Massachusetts, citing the level of co-operation required to use such tools and the short time frame before Trump leaves office. 6:18

Fund added that the Republicans who objected could suffer electoral challenges as a result, but that the events in Washington will be "a clarifying moment" for the whole party.

"I don't think Donald Trump is a viable candidate for president in 2024 for the Republican nomination," he said, even if voter support for Trump's brand of populism lingers until then.

Other members of the Trump family, including his daughter Ivanka Trump, may also see their political ambitions curbed, he added.

"I think the influence of the Trump family has fundamentally become a depreciating asset starting yesterday and continuing forward."

Police action shocking, says prof

Dowe said the actions of the rioters were not as shocking as the "lack of response by those that were deemed to protect that building and our elected officials."

"What we saw is what we have seen across the country when we talk about this issue of policing in America, and who has the right to be protected." 

Police have been criticized for not doing enough to stop the rioters entering the building, as well as taking a "kid glove" approach once they had. In one video posted on social media, some officers posed for selfies with the rioters.

The U.S. Capitol Police issued a statement Thursday saying it "is conducting a thorough review of this incident, security planning and policies and procedures."

More than a dozen people were arrested Wednesday, with calls from law enforcement asking for the public's help to identify suspects involved in the unrest.

Acting U.S. attorney general Jeffrey Rosen issued a statement Thursday saying that "those responsible for this attack on our Government and the rule of law face the full consequences of their actions under the law."

Dowe said that Black protesters "wouldn't have made it across the barricades," citing the heavily armed presence at Black Lives Matter protests at the same site last summer.

She's concerned about "the increasing amount of political violence in this country."

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      "There's a group of people in this country, particularly white Americans, who believe that they have the sole right to control American democracy," she told Galloway.

      "This is a longstanding challenge for this country about citizenship, about the rights of persons like myself who are African-American.... If this democracy is going to stand, [the U.S.] has to finally face what it is that is at the root of our society, and really wrestle with it, and deal with."


      Written by Padraig Moran. Produced by Howard Goldenthal, Ben Jamieson and Rachel Levy-McLaughlin.

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