By Reese Burns, Assistant Editor
Following the attack on the United States Capitol Building on January 6th, 2021, former U.S. President Donald Trump has been accused of “inciting violence” and encouraging the violent protests. Mr. Trump was still holding office when this occurred which led him to be charged with misconduct again, becoming the first president in US History to be impeached twice.
The riots, accelerated by Trump’s insistence that the 2020 Presidential Election was illegally altered against him, consisted of thousands of his supporters storming the Capitol Building and forcing members of congress to lockdown. It is suspected that there was a form of online coordination between Trump supporters in which they organized the storming of the capital.
In addition to many protesters being armed, pipe bombs were found at the Democratic and Republican National Committee Headquarters just blocks away from the Capitol Building on the same day of the attack. Thankfully, these bombs were not detonated, but it heightened security by the National Guard leading up to President Biden’s Inauguration. Furthermore, multiple people were injured and a total of five deaths were connected to violence within the attack.
Despite the fact that Trump is no longer president, he is still expected to face trial where a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate would mean a conviction. If convicted, Trump could be banned from ever running for office again which he stated he is intending to do in 2024. Currently, after a deal was struck in the Senate, the trial is expected to begin in early February.
However, none of this is entirely confirmed, solely because this is the first time a situation like this has occurred. It is possible that Trump might not even go to trial because he is no longer in office, but with Democrats now holding a majority in the Senate, it seems likely that he will be tried.
Only two weeks after the attack was the 2021 Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. This day marked another defining moment in United States history as the first woman or a person of color was sworn into office as the U.S. Vice President. In addition, this was also the fourth time the departing president did not attend his successor’s Inauguration. Nonetheless, three former presidents did attend this year’s inauguration; Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.
Performers included Lady Gaga, who sang the National Anthem; Jennifer Lopez who sang “America the Beautiful”; Garth Brooks who sang “Amazing Grace”; and twenty-two-year-old poet Amanda C Gorman, who became the youngest ever to recite her original poem at the Inauguration ceremony.
Besides the ceremonial swearing-in of the President and Vice President, many notable fashion icons were made of the event’s attendees. Michelle Obama, Kamala Harris, Jill Biden, Lady Gaga, Amanda Gorman, the Biden grandchildren, and even Bernie Sanders have taken over the internet with their appearances.
2021 marks another year of this country’s transition of power from one president to the next. Although this may not be the most peaceful transition in U.S. history, it is still fairly peaceful compared to the transitions of power in many weaker democracies—though this year’s events certainly show that the U.S. is not the world’s strongest democracy, either.