What are Trump's impeachment thoughts
US President collapses : Why Trump suddenly sounds like a different person
The outgoing US President Donald Trump's preview of the day reads rather monotonously these days. For Friday it is announced: “President Trump will work from early in the morning until late in the evening. He's going to make a lot of calls and have a lot of meetings. ”No more.
It has been going on for weeks, governing is obviously no longer a top priority for the Republican. About the corona pandemic, for example, which killed more than 4,000 people in America for the first time on Thursday, has not been heard from this president for a long time.
Instead, since a mob made up of hundreds of his supporters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday to prevent his election from being confirmed, the main topic has been in the foreground: How can Donald Trump, who many believe incited this outrageous behavior escape the threatening consequences?
That would be: an immediate impeachment by his Vice Mike Pence and large parts of his cabinet or a second impeachment, something that no US president has experienced. The Democrats, at least, say they are determined to work towards one of the two options.
The pressure had become too great
On Thursday evening (local time) the pressure on Trump from his environment must have become too great to finally condemn the behavior of his own supporters and, ideally, to do away with the myth of the election victory.
The disintegration in the government had become obvious, one resignation after the other was submitted, even Trump's National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien toyed with this idea.
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The Republican Party increasingly disintegrated, some even sided with the opposition in their calls for impeachment, including Trump's former chief of staff John Kelly and George W. Bush's former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.
Ex-Justice Minister Barr speaks of "treason"
Justice Minister William Barr, who resigned at the end of December and was very loyal for a long time, called Trump's behavior a “betrayal of his office and his supporters”. Calling on a mob to put pressure on Congress was "inexcusable," the news site "Politico" quoted him as saying.
In addition, Facebook announced that it would block Trump's accounts at least until the transfer of office to Joe Biden on January 20. And even Rupert Murdoch's conservative “Wall Street Journal” called his behavior “impeachable” and urged him to resign with unequivocal words: “It is best for everyone, including him, if he resigns silently.” An unprecedented situation for Trump - despite all the border crossings and scandals in the past four years.
A second video - Trump looks like a different person
So he recorded the second video since the Capitol storm, and this time, for two and a half minutes, the Americans saw a president who looked like a changed man. He sharply condemned the mob that had violated the heart of American democracy - without, of course, taking any responsibility for it.
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He even indicated that he would finally accept his defeat on November 3rd, even if he explicitly did not deviate from his conspiracy theory of electoral fraud. Nevertheless: On January 20th, he read from the teleprompter, a new government would take over. He will now concentrate on ensuring that there will be an orderly transfer of power. And, as if Biden had taken over the microphone, Trump added at the end: "This moment requires healing and reconciliation."
According to information from the always well-informed “New York Times” correspondents Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman, he is said to have resisted recording this video for a long time. It was only when his legal advisers made it clear that he was facing legal consequences that he gave in.
Michael Sherwin, the federal attorney in charge in Washington, had not previously ruled out the possibility of investigating the role of the president in the rioting because he had asked his supporters to march to the Capitol.
Can the President pardon himself?
It remains to be seen what effect the video, which was obviously only recorded with reluctance, will have to be seen. According to the New York Times, President's daughter Ivanka Trump called members of Congress before the publication and promised them that the content would encourage them to stand by the president.
Trump himself is apparently not so sure that he will not face criminal investigations after his departure: According to the newspaper, he is still thinking about pardoning himself quickly as a precaution. He has spoken to his advisors about this several times since election day.
Whether a self-pardon is even possible and what consequences this would have is controversial among constitutional lawyers. So far, at least no American president has attempted this, which is why the Supreme Court has never had to act. Trump claims to have that power.
Trump, the perfect test case
The Washington Post writes that the 74-year-old would present himself as above the law - and ultimately set himself a trap. Because with such a step he would call into question the authority of the Justice Department. This in turn, in the future in the hands of the Democrats, would have to accuse him of criminal acts in order to question the pardon. Exactly for this there are already the findings of Russia special investigator Robert Mueller.
So Trump could only trigger the criminal investigation he fears so much. This, the newspaper writes, is basically the perfect test case to clarify whether a self-pardon is possible.
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