World leaders have reeled out steering condemnations of Wednesday’s attack on Capitol Hill, Washington DC, venue of the US Congress’ certification of president-elect Joe Biden’s election victory by pro-Trump protesters, describing the act as disgraceful.
This came as the US Congress confirmed Biden’s victory in the November 4, 2020 presidential election but some members are pushing to apply the provisions of the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution against President Donald Trump.
Among the world leaders who condemned the attack on Capitol Hill by Trump supporters objecting Biden’s victory is UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who described the attack as disgraceful.
“Disgraceful scenes in US Congress, the United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power,” Johnson said in his Twitter handle.
Mexican President, Manuel Lopez Obrador, called for peaceful resolution of the crisis in the US following the invasion of the Capitol Hill.
Speaking at a regular news briefing, Obrador said his government adhered to the principle of non-intervention in the affairs of other countries.
“We’re not going to intervene in these matters, which are up to the Americans to resolve, to deal with. That’s our policy, that’s what I can say,” he said, after being asked to comment on the events that provoked widespread outrage in the US.
But he expressed regret that lives had been lost during the events in Washington on Wednesday, noting that he had always believed that conflicts, whether they were in Mexico or abroad, should be resolved “via dialogue and peaceful means.”
Also, Nigeria’s former president, Goodluck Jonathan, told Donald Trump that his ambition is not worth the blood of any American citizen.
“I have repeatedly said nobody’s political ambition is worth the blood of any citizen, in any part of the world. Absolutely nobody,” Jonathan said in a post on his Facebook page.
German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, blamed the Capitol Hill violence on lies and provocations from the highest level of authority in the U.S.
“The scenes we saw are the result of lies and more lies of division and contempt for democracy, of hate and rabble-rousing including at the highest level,” he said in an address to the nation.
Also, the head of the German parliament yesterday asked for an investigation into how to prevent a riot similar to the one that occurred at the US Capitol from happening at the Bundestag.
“A report has already been requested from the German Embassy in Washington on how the excesses of violence could come about within the Capitol,” the Bundestag said, citing its president, Wolfgang Schaeuble.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer had earlier called for the president’s cabinet to make use of the 25th Amendment to declare President Donald Trump unfit for office and put Vice President Mike Pence in charge – after Trump fuelled what he called an ‘insurrection’ mob that ran wild in the Capitol Wednesday.
The New York senator who will soon become majority leader once Joe Biden is sworn in amid made the call amid escalating concerns among Trump cabinet officials, former top aides, and his recently departed attorney general about the president’s conduct and continued risks he could pose to the country.
Schumer said, “The quickest and most effective way – it can be done today – to remove this president from office would be for the vice president to immediately invoke the 25th amendment.
“If the vice president and the cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president”.
His statement came shortly after Republican Rep Adam Kinzinger of Illinois became the first elected House Republican to call for the Trump cabinet and Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to strip Trump of his powers.
“It’s with a heavy heart I am calling for the sake of our democracy that the 25th Amendment be invoked,” Kinzinger said in a statement he posted on Twitter.’
Kinzinger noted that Trump “invoked and inflamed passions that only gave fuel to the insurrection we saw.”
His comment followed reports that members of Trump’s cabinet had been discussing use of the 25th Amendment to the constitution to declare him unfit for office.
His statement came as former Attorney General Bill Barr, who departed his post before Christmas, called out Trump for ‘orchestrating a mob.’
He told the Associated Press that orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress was inexcusable.
The talk of using the 25th Amendment came amid fears of what damage Trump might be able to carry out even in the short two weeks left in his tenure as aides flee his White House and he continues to lash out at enemies, with control of the military and massive executive powers.
Several House Democrats have begun talks of rushing through an impeachment, after the failed January impeachment trial in the Senate.
The 25th Amendment, which also governs a president who voluntarily relinquishes power on a temporary basis, requires that the vice president and ‘a majority of either the principal officers of the executive, departments or of such other body as Congress may as law provides, inform the Congress that the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.
Trump Commits To ‘Orderly Transition’
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump yesterday morning committed to an “orderly transition” of power on January 20.
He made the promise in a statement after Congress certified Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the country’s next president and vice-president.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on Jan. 20.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” he said.
The statement was released through his spokesperson’s Twitter account after the company blocked the president from using his own account.
FBI Seeks Information On Perpetrators
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation has appealed to members of the public to furnish it with vital information that would lead to the arrest of persons who instigated Wednesday’s Capitol Hill riots in Washington.
It said, “The FBI is seeking to identify individuals instigating violence in Washington, D.C. We are accepting tips and digital media depicting rioting or violence in and around the U.S. Capitol on January 6.”
The FBI urged persons with important details on the perpetrators to submit such on http://fbi.gov/USCapitol.
Trump Banned From Facebook, Instagram Indefinitely—CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said yesterday that the social media giant was banning President Trump indefinitely, marking a dramatic escalation of the conflict between Silicon Valley and the White House after Trump weaponised the web to help stoke a riot at the U.S. Capitol.
“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Zuckerberg wrote, adding that “therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”
Facebook’s suspension marked the most aggressive penalty that any social media company has meted out to Trump over his four-year term, a period in which he has repeatedly peddled falsehoods, attacked critics and spread divisive rhetoric online.
Twitter on Wednesday evening also suspended Trump for 12 hours for the first time, but the company’s blockade lifted Thursday morning — and the president had not yet tweeted.
The tech giants each took the rare aggressive steps after a violent mob stormed the House and Senate Wednesday, forcing lawmakers into a lockdown and briefly interrupting their formal process to certify Joseph Biden as the next president of the United States.
In failing to act until after the deadly riot occurred, Facebook, Twitter and Google-owned YouTube have faced sharp criticism saying they should have done more, and sooner, to stop Trump from helping provoke the situation.
“While I’m pleased to see social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube take long-belated steps to address the president’s sustained misuse of their platforms to sow discord and violence, these isolated actions are both too late and not nearly enough,” said Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), in a statement.
“Disinformation and extremism researchers have for years pointed to broader network-based exploitation of these platforms.”
Critics also noted that the moves by tech companies appeared politically expedient, coming as Democrats take full control of Congress and Trump prepares to depart the White House in 13 days.