Trump condemns US Capitol riot as calls grow for his removal | News | DW | 08.01.2021

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Trump condemns US Capitol riot as calls grow for his removal

In his first post since being locked out of Twitter, Trump condemned the "heinous" attack on the US Capitol and pledged a "smooth" transition of power to the Biden administration.

Outgoing US President Donald Trump released a video on Thursday addressing the attacks on the US Capitol in his first post on Twitter since being locked out of his account. 

"Like all Americans, I am outraged by the lawlessness, violence and mayhem," he said while calling the attack "heinous."

He said the rioters "defiled the seat of democracy" and added: "to those who broke the law, you will pay."

The new statement was in stark contrast to the tone he struck one day prior, where he repeated his unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.

Facing mounting pressure to resign and efforts by Democrats to remove him from office early, Trump pledged a smooth transition for President-elect Joe Biden's administration.

"Now Congress has certified the results, a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power," he said.

"Serving as your president has been the honor of my lifetime," he concluded, adding: "our incredible journey is only just beginning."

Incitement of violence

Trump did not acknowledge his role in firing up his supporters and encouraging them to march to the US Capitol on Wednesday.

After a mob of his supporters stormed Capitol Hill, Trump released a now-deleted video where he praised his supporters as "special" and repeated falsehoods about the results of the US presidential election, which led to Twitter blocking him.

Twitter has stated that Trump faces a risk of permanent ban if he continues to violate rules around misinformation and incitement of violence. Facebook and Instagram too have indefinitely suspended his accounts. 

Calls for removal from office

Trump is facing growing calls for his removal ahead of Biden's Inauguration Day on January 20.

One possible method that could be used is the 25th amendment to the US constitution. It allows a majority of the Cabinet to remove the president from power if he is unable to discharge his duties. However, such an act would have to be led by the vice president. 

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are leading appeals for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the amendment. 

According to several media reports, Pence opposes using the amendment to remove Trump from office, setting up a potential impeachment showdown. 

Pelosi has signaled she would reconvene the House for impeachment proceedings against Trump if Pence and other Cabinet members do not remove him using the 25th amendment.

Democrats the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal and some Republicans have also called for Trump's removal or resignation.

Some senior members of his administration have resigned in the wake of the US Capitol riot as a symbolic gesture against the violence. Senior members include Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

tg/rs (AP, Reuters)


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