Washington (AP) – With the inauguration of new US President Joe Biden, Donald Trump’s era in the White House ends on Wednesday. Shortly before the transfer of power, there was open conflict between the old and the new governments over US access restrictions.
Trump ordered an end to the entry ban for foreigners from large parts of Europe within a week. Biden’s spokeswoman immediately objected that the restrictions would remain in place for the time being.
The Trump ruling, circulated by the White House on Monday evening (local time), states that restrictions on travelers from the Schengen area, Great Britain and Ireland and Brazil will be lifted on Jan. 26. Trump pointed out that as of this date, all flights to the US will require proof of a negative corona test before departure.
His successor Biden rejects the easing in the middle of the pandemic. “On the advice of our medical team, the government does not intend to cancel on Jan. future White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Twitter. “As the pandemic worsens and more contagious variants emerge worldwide, now is not the time to lift restrictions on international travel.” Instead, Biden’s government is planning to tighten up measures on international travel to stop the spread of the virus.
Biden has made the fight against the coronavirus one of his main direct goals. The pandemic continues to get out of control in the US. Since the first case became known about a year ago, more than 24 million coronavirus infections have been detected in the US, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University. About 400,000 people died after infection.
Shortly before the transfer of power, the most important Republican in the US Senate, Mitch McConnell, is trying to mend the deep rift between Biden’s Democrats. McConnel will attend a service with the future president on Wednesday. The communal prayer shortly before Biden’s inauguration was an “important and symbolic gesture of unity,” Democratic Senator Chris Coons, a close confidant of Biden, told CNN news channel. McConnell has been an influential ally of Donald Trump in recent years. However, he distances himself from the outgoing president after Trump supporters storm the Capitol in Washington.
McConnell has been the Republican majority leader in the Senate for the past several years. With the swearing-in of two new Georgia senators, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, expected this week, the Democrats will take control of the Chamber of Parliament.
Trump also planned quite a wave of grace in recent yards, according to consistent media reports. The Washington Post and the CNN broadcaster reported unanimously Monday (local time) on 100 instances where Trump wanted to issue penalties or commute. CNN reported that the list included white-collar criminals and known rappers. Shortly before Christmas, Trump had pardoned several loyal companions, including the former head of his campaign team, Paul Manafort.
Former US presidents also made extensive use of their right to a pardon at the end of their term. Things were usually less controversial than with Trump. The New York Times reported on Sunday that some of the president’s allies were raising money to force the White House to pardon. For example, a convicted former CIA employee paid an ex-Trump adviser $ 50,000 to seek a pardon. If successful, a bonus of the same amount was agreed.
The Washington Post reported, citing advisers to the outgoing president, that they expected no precautions from family members or from Trump himself. However, that could change. As president, Trump enjoys immunity from prosecution. But that will come to an end when his successor Joe Biden is sworn in on Wednesday afternoon.
After the storm on the Capitol on Jan. 6, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, also called for criminal consequences for Trump. For “inciting uproar”, Democrats and ten Republicans in the House opened impeachment proceedings against Trump last Wednesday, which could end with a ban on Trump. It is controversial among legal experts whether the president would have the power to pardon himself at all.
Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday and Kamala Harris will become the country’s first female vice president. The setting for the ceremony is the west side of the Capitol. Violent Trump supporters stormed the parliament building on January 6. Five people were killed, including a police officer. Trump is facing impeachment for “incitement to riot,” which could lead to a life-long suspension from office.
Trump has already announced that he will stay away from Biden’s inauguration. According to reports in the American media, he wants to leave Washington a few hours earlier on board the presidential plane Air Force One. Trump is the first president since 1869 to not attend the swearing-in for his successor.
The celebrations in the Capitol take place under the strictest security measures. According to the Pentagon, the police are supported by about 25,000 National Guard soldiers. Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said on Monday that the soldiers will be subject to a review. “While we have no findings that indicate an insider threat, we leave no stone unturned to secure the capital.”
The center of Washington with the many monuments not far from the Congress building and the White House has been transformed into a high security zone in recent days. Metal gates and police checkpoints were placed and several metro stations were closed. Bridges from neighboring Virginia state to Washington will be closed from Tuesday.
The National Mall has also been cordoned off. Tens of thousands of spectators usually gather in the park between the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol to attend the inauguration. Partly because of the pandemic, there is no mass audience, and the traditional balls in the evening were also canceled. Instead, the Biden team announced a TV and online show on Wednesday night. It will be moderated by actor Tom Hanks and stars such as Justin Timberlake and Jon Bon Jovi will appear. Let Biden and Harris talk.