Trump v. Raffensperger
President Trump called the Georgia secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, in an attempt to convince Raffensperger to overturn his loss in the presidential election. Also on the line with him was White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, several lawyers, Raffensperger’s general counsel Ryan Germany and Raffenspergers attorney, Kurt Hilbert.
In the call, Trump is heard begging Raffensperger to “find” the votes to help him win the election in the state. Raffensperger was even told he was taking a “big risk.” Though Trump urged him on persistently, Raffensperger declined. The call ultimately ended with an agreement to speak to lawyers further on the matter. This phone call demonstrated a large abuse of power by the President as he continues to resist his loss.
On the 5th, Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock beat Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in the Georgia Senate runoff election. This is the first time Georgia has gone blue since 2005, securing a marginal Democratic Senate majority, a vital step to ensuring that Biden will be able to pass legislature during his term. Warnock is the first African-American Senator from the state and the pastor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s church.
During the Electoral College confirmation in Congress on Wednesday, Trump supporters stormed the Capitol after the President instructed them to “walk down Pennsylvania Avenue'' and “take back our country." As the armed rioters battered down doors and shattered windows, lawmakers were forced to take cover and evacuate, and the electoral counting confirmation was interrupted. This was the worst security breach of the Capitol since the War of 1812, when British soldiers burned down the building. Congressmen and women as well as the Vice President were put in danger as the rioters broke into the chambers where the full Congress was in session, many chanting “hang Mike Pence,” “string ‘em up,” and threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s life. Five deaths have since been recorded.
Congress resumed its duties later in the night and most objections to the count were dropped. Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin was one of several to remain defiant. Early the next morning, Congress confirmed Biden and Harris as the leaders of the next administration.by Viviane Kim
Second Time Around
The process of impeaching President Trump was initiated for the unprecedented second time within his four years of presidency. On January 13th, the House voted to impeach the president, after which the power to convict and remove was sent to the Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate could only take up the trial beginning the day before Biden’s inauguration. Those arguing for impeachment say that even though Trump will be already out of office, impeachment will prevent him from running for a second term and hold him accountable for his actions. Although impeachment was not on Congress’ original agenda, the events at the Capitol motivated many members to act, even causing several Republicans to take a stand against the President—a rare occurrence in a political era where Congress normally votes strictly along party lines. Removal of the president was immediately prioritized by Congress, with members from both parties condemning the way the President incited, responded to, and handled the insurrection.
Donald Trump is the first President to have been impeached twice, and following events may deem him the first impeached President to actually be removed from office.