Washington (AP) – After weeks of disagreement over the election results, Donald Trump’s controversial era in the White House ends on Wednesday with the inauguration of US President Joe Biden.
Trump became the first president since Andrew Johnson, who announced in 1869 that he would stay away from the swearing-in of his successor before the Capitol in Washington. The ceremony two weeks after Trump supporters stormed the parliament building is under the strictest security measures. According to the Pentagon, the police are supported by about 25,000 National Guard soldiers. Large parts of the American capital have been cordoned off.
Acting US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said, “Tomorrow the nation and the world will witness an orderly and peaceful transfer of power in the United States.” He also warned, “Justice will not tolerate anyone who tries to disrupt the day with violence or other criminal behavior.”
In connection with the attack by Trump supporters on parliament on January 6, impeachment proceedings have been opened in the US House of Representatives against Trump for “inciting insurrection”. At the end of the trial – which is being conducted in the Senate – the Republican could be suspended for life. High Republican Senate Mitch McConnell blamed Trump for the attack. “The crowd was fed lies,” he said on Tuesday. The rioters were “driven by the president and other powerful people”.
Trump sees himself taken from his victory in the presidential election on November 3 by massive electoral fraud. There is no evidence for this. Until the storm on the Capitol, Trump had been trying to reverse Biden’s election victory. He had summoned his supporters at a meeting just before the attack on Parliament.
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. According to US media reports, Trump plans to leave Washington a few hours earlier and fly to Florida, where his club resort Mar-a-Lago is located, aboard Air Force One’s presidential plane. Trump has not yet commented on his plans for the future.
Shortly before the transfer of power to Biden, there was open conflict between the old and new governments over the US access restrictions caused by the pandemic. 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.
Trump’s order, which was circulated by the White House Monday night, said restrictions on travelers from the Schengen area, Great Britain and Ireland and Brazil would 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 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 top Republican McConnell tries to mend the deep rift in Biden’s Democrats. McConnell 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, said on CNN. Until the attack on the Capitol, McConnell was an influential ally of Donald Trump in recent years.
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 unanimously reported about 100 instances where Trump still wanted to issue sentences 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. That ends when his successor Joe Biden is sworn in on Wednesday afternoon (local time). It is controversial among legal experts whether the president would have the power to pardon himself at all. 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.