By Alfonso Fernandez
Washington, Jan 10 (efe-epa).- Political tension remains high across the United States after the assault on Congress last week by an angry mob supporting President Donald Trump, with a growing chorus of calls for him to resign and the possible launching of new impeachment proceedings against him with less than two weeks left in his term in office.
Democrats have been joined by several Republican lawmakers indignant over Trump’s firing up his followers to march on Congress after a political rally in Washington at which he repeated his complaints, which have been thrown out by the courts, that massive election fraud was what caused Democrat Joe Biden to win the Nov. 3 presidential election.
Last Wednesday, during the chaotic and violent attack on Congress, five people died, including a Capitol police officer, who reportedly was bludgeoned to death by one of the insurrectionists.
Republican Sen. Pat Toomey told the conservative Fox News he believed that Trump had committed impeachable offenses, adding that his behavior last week disqualifies him from continuing to serve as president,
Along the same line, GOP Sen. Ben Sasse said that if impeachment proceedings were begun against Trump he would consider the articles of impeachment brought against the president.
He said he thought that Trump had failed to abide by his oath of office to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and, in fact, had acted contrary to it.
There are two options under consideration in the wake of the unprecedented assault on Congress.
On the one hand, Trump could be ousted under the 25th Amendment, which essentially says that a president who is incapable of governing can be removed from office, a move that would have to be led by Vice President Mike Pence, who has been quite loyal to Trump over the past four years, and which would require the backing of half of Trump’s Cabinet, something that seems to have little chance of success.
The other, more plausible, option is for the Democrats – who have a majority in the House of Representatives, to present an article of impeachment against Trump for “inciting insurrection,” thus making him the only president ever to be impeached twice.
For now, more than 190 of the 222 Democrats in the House have backed a resolution proposed by Congressman Ted Lieu to present at least one article of impeachment against Trump.
If that moves forward, Trump would be placed on trial in the Senate, although the upper house is in recess and is not scheduled to resume its activities until Jan. 19, one day before Biden is to be inaugurated as president.
Nevertheless, several Democrat heavyweights in the House on Sunday put forward the possibility of presenting charges against Trump but not sending them to the Senate until the first 100 days of Biden’s White House term have elapsed so as not to potentially create a political dilemma for him right at the beginning of his mandate, when he has said he intends to be quite busy with other matters.
Democratic Congressman James Clyburn on Sunday told CNN that the House could vote on the impeachment charges “this week,” but lawmakers would give Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda under way, sending the document to the Senate – where Democrats will hold a majority thanks to winning the two Georgia runoff Senate races last week.
Meanwhile, Trump has remained silent, given that his Twitter and Facebook accounts were suspended on Friday because of the risk that they might be used by the president now or in the future to “incite violence.”
Two days after it temporarily suspended Trump’s account, Twitter on Friday definitively closed that account permanently, thus removing from the president his key means of communicating in real time with his 89 million followers, sending more than 55,000 messages over the past 11 years.
US media outlets have reported that Trump’s first public act will take place on Tuesday when he travels to Texas to check up on the construction of the border wall with Mexico, the symbol of his hardline stance on immigration control.