US President Donald Trump will not be present at the inauguration of his successor, Joe Biden, on January 20 in Washington DC. Trump announced this on Friday.
“To anyone who has asked, I will not attend the inauguration on January 20,” the outgoing president wrote. Twitter.
Traditionally, the outgoing president receives his successor at the White House on the day of the inauguration and they ride together to the Capitol for the ceremony. Despite the awkward silences in the backseat that this sometimes entails, it is a much-loved tradition in the US.
This will be the first time since 1869 (Andrew Johnson) that a president has decided not to show up at the inauguration of his successor. Before that, it happened only twice before, in 1829 (John Quincy Adams) and 1801 (John Adams).
Richard Nixon and Woodrow Wilson were also absent, in 1974 and 1921, respectively. Nixon because he had already resigned for the Watergate scandal and Wilson for health reasons.
Prefer to play golf in Scotland
Trump ended the speculation that had arisen earlier in the day with his message, after US media reported, based on anonymous government sources, that he planned to leave Washington on January 19.
That also became a topic of conversation on the other side of the ocean. The Scottish newspaper Sunday Post stated that Trump wanted to play golf at his resort in Turnberry town. Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said he is not welcome, given the strict lockdown in Scotland. “Coming to play golf is not what I would describe as an essential journey,” she said.
Trump insists that Biden won through fraud
Trump posted a video on Twitter on Thursday evening (US time) acknowledging that Biden will be sworn in. He still maintains that his rival owes his victory to large-scale fraud. There is no evidence for that.
This week, Trump came under heavy fire for his role in the storming of the Capitol by his supporters on Wednesday. Democrats and some Republicans alike argue that responsibility rests with the president because he actively stirred up his supporters and continues to spread lies about the electoral process.
The Democratic Party leadership in Congress has announced plans to initiate impeachment proceedings against Trump. According to several Democratic politicians, it is possible to do that in the short time that remains until Biden is inaugurated.
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, urged Vice President Pence to seize the Constitution’s 25th amendment and declare Trump unfit for the exercise of his office. If he doesn’t, Democrats in the House will start an impeachment case after the weekend, Pelosi said. Initiates say Pence has no intention of sidelining his boss.
Deposition is unlikely
If the Democrats do impeachment, Trump is unlikely to be impeached before January 20. Should the House decide to indict the president, he must be tried in the Senate. This requires the support of two thirds of the senators.
The new, tight majority the Democrats secured earlier this week is not enough, and no Republican senators have said they are considering impeachment. Republican Mitch McConnell, currently leader of the Republican majority in the Senate, may also decide to delay the impeachment process beyond January 20.
The upcoming Democratic president Joe Biden would not be in favor of an attempted impeachment, according to insiders CNN. He would rather focus on the task ahead. “Impeachment is not going to help our country any further”, one of the sources typified Biden’s position.