Nearly three months after announcing his campaign, Donald Trump made his first campaign foray out of his adopted home state of Florida on January 28.
In New Hampshire, he addressed a meeting of the Republican Party and announced the outgoing state party chair would be a senior adviser to his campaign. And at the state capitol in Columbia, South Carolina, he received the endorsements of the state’s governor, Henry McMaster, and Senator Lindsey Graham.
Lindsay Graham, a Trump confidante who expressed some disillusionment after the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, is now back firmly in the fold.
Donald Trump once again denied his 2020 defeat and told supporters that he – unlike any possible Republican alternatives – would be the most effective nominee in 2024.
“To change the whole system, you need a president who can take on the whole system and a president who can win,” he said from the state capitol’s main hall.
In both stops, the former president touted what he said was his record of success during his presidency and attacked President Joe Biden’s record on crime, immigration and the economy.
Across the street, Todd Gerhardt, a Republican district executive committee member from nearby Charleston, sold honey in Trump-shaped plastic bottles.
Todd Gerhardt was an early supporter of Donald Trump’s first presidential campaign, organized a 2016 rally for him on South Carolina’s posh Kiawah Island, and recently visited the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate for a fundraiser and to provide his honey for the campaign’s gift bags.
It’s no coincidence that the first two stops of Donald Trump’s third presidential campaign were South Carolina and New Hampshire. The two states could prove to be central to Trump’s strategy to retake the White House.
While Iowa is the first state to hold a Republican presidential nomination contest in 2024, Donald Trump finished third there in 2016 and the evangelical Christians who dominate the state’s Republican electorate could be eying other possible candidates, like former Vice-President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
New Hampshire and South Carolina, however, provided Donald Trump with a one-two punch that catapulted him to the front in 2016 – a lead he never relinquished.
They could do the same in 2024. In fact, every Republican presidential nominee since 1980 has won the South Carolina primary, making it unique among the traditional early-voting states.
South Carolina could prove to be a unique challenge for Donald Trump this time around, however. He faces potential challenges from Senator Tim Scott as well as the state’s former governor, Nikki Haley.
An Emerson Poll conducted earlier this week found 55% of Republican voters supporting Donald Trump, well ahead of the 29% for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has not announced a presidential bid but is viewed to be the former president’s most formidable rival. A Monmouth poll in December had Mr DeSantis ahead by double-digits.
Earlier this week, Meta announced that it was lifting the suspension it had placed on Donald Trump’s accounts in the aftermath of the attack on the US Capitol by his supporters. Although the former president has yet to resume posting to his accounts, his return could provide yet another opportunity for voter outreach – and fundraising – as his still minimally staffed campaign gears up for its 2024 run.
If rallies and Facebook donations were the fuel for Donald Trump’s past White House bids, his South Carolina stop was a different kind of operation.
With only 300 announced attendees, it was a decidedly low-key event compared to his typical arena gatherings, with their carnival atmosphere. Attire tended toward sport coats and dresses, not Make America Great Again hats and Let’s Go Brandon t-shirts.
To win a third Republican presidential nomination, however, Donald Trump will need the support of the political rank-and-file in states like New Hampshire and South Carolina, as well as his rally-going loyalists. And while Donald Trump’s national polls show continued strength, a recent South Carolina survey had nearly half of Republican voters expressing a preference for “someone else” besides Donald Trump.
The two legislators, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, are the only Republicans on a congressional select committee investigating the riots.
The statement by the Republican National Committee (RNC) accused Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger of helping to persecute “ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse”.
The RNC appeared to suggest rioters had been involved in legitimate political actions but RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel clarified that it was a reference to “legitimate political discourse that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol”.
According to recent reports, the vote was passed by an overwhelming majority of the 168 RNC members at their winter meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The committee said it would “immediately cease any and all support of them” as party members without removing them from the party.
Both lawmakers issued statements in advance of the vote.
“The leaders of the Republican Party have made themselves willing hostages to a man who admits he tried to overturn a presidential election and suggests he would pardon January 6 defendants, some of whom have been charged with seditious conspiracy,” Liz Cheney said.
They also received support from other opponents of Donald Trump in the party.
Letitia James’ office has been seeking documents on four Trump Organization properties in Manhattan, upstate New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Donald Trump has described the inquiry as a witch hunt.
Throughout his presidency from 2017 to 2021, Donald Trump resolutely refused to reveal his tax returns, despite coming under great pressure to do so.
Civil cases usually have to do with injury to individuals or other private parties, including businesses; criminal law applies in cases where the damage is thought to affect society at large, including the state.
The Department of Justice has ordered the IRS to hand over former President Donald Trump’s tax returns to Congress.
The move reverses a 2019 finding that the request from the House Ways and Means Committee was “disingenuous”.
The DoJ decision appears to end a long legal battle over the records, and is seen as a sharp legal blow to Donald Trump.
Although not required by law, every president since 1976 – except Donald Trump – has released their tax returns.
Donald Trump is yet to publicly comment on the latest developments, although he still has ways to try to fight the ruling in court.
Republicans on Capitol Hill denounced the decision, describing it as politically motivated.
When he was president, Donald Trump repeatedly said he was under audit by the IRS and so could not release his tax returns – although the IRS has said an audit would not stop the release of the information.
The House Ways and Means Committee has previously argued that it required Donald Trump’s tax returns for an investigation into whether he complied with tax law.
The Trump-era justice department, however, refused to hand them over. It argued that the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives was seeking them for partisan political gain.
In an opinion released on July 30, the justice department’s Office of Legal Counsel determined that the committee “has invoked sufficient reasons” for requesting the tax information.
“Treasury must furnish the information to the Committee,” the opinion said.
Among those who praised the decision was Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said the American people “deserve to know the facts of his troubling conflicts and undermining of our security and democracy as president”.
In February, President Trump was ordered by the Supreme Court to hand over his tax returns and other financial records to prosecutors in New York.
The decision was a blow to Donald Trump, who had been in a legal battle to protect his records from a grand jury.
The former president has continuously denied any wrongdoing and has called the investigation into his tax affairs a “witch hunt”.
Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against tech giants Google, Twitter and Facebook, claiming that he is the victim of censorship.
The class action lawsuit also targets the three companies’ CEOs.
The former president was suspended from his social accounts in January over public safety concerns in the wake of the Capitol riots, led by his supporters.
On July 7, Donald Trump called the lawsuit “a very beautiful development for our freedom of speech”.
In a news conference from his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, Donald Trump railed against social media companies and Democrats, who he accused of espousing misinformation.
He said: “We are demanding an end to the shadow-banning, a stop to the silencing, and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing, and cancelling that you know so well.”
The suit requests a court order to end alleged censorship. Donald Trump added if they could ban a president, “they can do it to anyone”.
None of the tech companies named have yet responded to the lawsuit, which was filed to a federal court in Florida.
Donald Trump was joined at the announcement by former Trump officials who have since created the not-for-profit America First Policy Institute.
The former president called the post that got him banned from Twitter, “the most loving sentence”.
According to Twitter, the tweets that resulted in Donald Trump’s ban for “glorification of violence” were from 8 January, two days after the rioting in the nation’s capital. The riot followed his repeated claims, without evidence, that the election was rigged in Joe Biden’s favor.
Donald Trump wrote that the “great patriots” who voted for him will have “a giant voice” and “will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form”, and in another post said he would not attend President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
At the same time on July 7, Donald Trump’s Republican allies in Congress released a memo describing their plan “to take on Big Tech”.
The agenda calls for antitrust measures to “break up” the companies, and a revamping of a law known as Section 230.
Section 230, which Donald Trump tried to repeal as president, essentially stops companies like Facebook and Twitter from being liable for the things that users post. It gives the companies “platform” rather than “publisher” status.
“It’s a liability protection the likes of which nobody in the history of our country has ever received,” he said, criticizing the law on July 7.
Donald Trump added that the law invalidates the companies’ statuses as private companies.
The lawsuit has been criticized by legal experts, who pointed to Donald Trump’s habit of issuing lawsuits for media attention but not aggressively defending the claims in court. His argument of free speech infringement has also been questioned by analysts, as the companies he accuses have those same First Amendment protections in determining content on their sites.
According to recent reports, Donald Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, and its finance chief have been indicted in an investigation into alleged tax crimes.
Allen Weisselberg, 73, turned himself in to authorities in New York on July 1, ahead of the expected unsealing of as-yet-unknown charges.
The former president is not expected to be implicated personally in the case.
New York City has already cut business ties with the twice-impeached former president.
The Trump Organization is a family holding company that owns hotels, golf clubs and other properties.
Any criminal charges brought against the company would mark the first in long-running investigations on alleged fraud by both the Manhattan district attorney and the state attorney general.
Charges by District Attorney Cyrus Vance are expected to focus on whether Allen Weisselberg and other company executives received benefits such as apartment rentals or leased cars without reporting them properly on their tax returns.
Allen Weisselberg entered Manhattan’s criminal court building on July 1, the New York Times said. He and at least one other Trump Organization representative are expected to appear in court later in the day.
Donald Trump and his allies have said the investigations are politically motivated.
In a statement this week, Allen Weisselberg said the case was looking at “things that are standard practice throughout the US business community, and in no way a crime”.
If the company is found guilty, however, certain business partners might draw a line under their relationship with the Trump Organization and the company could face fines.
New York City has already announced it will terminate contracts with Donald Trump’s company to run skating rinks, a carousel and a golf course, in the aftermath of the Capitol riots.
Daniel Goldman, who was lead lawyer in the House of Representatives for the first impeachment of President Trump in 2019, tweeted that the indictment could spur lenders to call in their loans, driving the Trump Organization to bankruptcy.
The investigations will also take into account eight years of Donald Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns, obtained by prosecutors after a long legal battle, which ended in the Supreme Court in February.
Donald Trump, who inherited money from his father and went on to become a property developer, is the first president since Gerald Ford in the 1970s not to have made his tax returns public.
Despite facing a number of investigations, Donald Trump has denied any wrongdoing personally or in his business.
Donald Trump is giving his first speech since leaving office as president at the Conservative Political Action Conference (C-PAC).
His public appearance comes just weeks after he was acquitted during an impeachment trial which saw some members of his own Republican Party vote against him.
The former president is expected to attack the actions being taken by successor Joe Biden in the Florida speech.
The C-PAC appearance represents his continued influence over Republicans.
The mood of the conference so far has been extremely pro-Trump, with loyalists including Texas Senator Ted Cruz and his son Donald Trump Jr. among the speakers confirmed.
Donald Trump’s speech was hotly anticipated by his supporters, given his relative absence from the political spotlight since leaving office.
He remains banned from social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, over his response to January’s deadly riot at the US Capitol.
He has been living at his Mar-a-Lago Florida golf resort since leaving the White House.
According to prepared script excerpts sent by his office ahead of time, Donald Trump will attack early actions by President Joe Biden during the speech – especially on immigration.
He is also set to focus on what he will describe as the future of “our movement” during the speech, amid a divide among some Republicans over the party’s future political direction.
He is expected to say that the “incredible journey” that he and supporters “began together four years ago is far from over”. But Donald Trump is not expected to confirm another presidential run in 2024 yet, according to a senior adviser quoted by CBS.
Donald Trump Jr. trailed his father’s appearance during his own speech on February 26.
He told the audience: “I imagine it will not be what we call a low energy speech, and I assure you that it will solidify Donald Trump and all of your feelings about the MAGA [Make America Great Again] movement as the future of the Republican party.”
Members of the Republican Party remained largely loyal to Donald Trump during his time in office but 10 voted to impeach him in the House of Representatives last month and seven voted to convict him in the subsequent Senate trial. The overall tally, 57-43 in favor of his guilt, fell short of the two-thirds margin needed to convict Donald Trump.
The schism in the party has remained since, with those who have broken rank against him notably absent from the CPAC stage.
The C-PAC, which began in 1974, is seen as the most influential gathering of conservatives and a barometer of the Republican party’s political direction.
Despite losing November’s presidential election and being deeply criticized over the January riot by some of his supporters, reports suggest Donald Trump remains extremely popular among his voting base.
Last week, one poll suggested 46% of surveyed Trump voters would vote for him on a third-party ticket rather than another Republican candidate.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress will establish an “outside, independent” commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
In a letter to lawmakers, Nancy Pelosi said the commission would be modeled on the inquiry into the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and the Pentagon.
She said: “We must get to the truth of how this happened.”
Former President Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate of inciting the violence.
However, Democrats and some Republicans have backed an independent investigation into the riots, which left five people dead.
Nancy Pelosi said that retired US Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré had, over the past few weeks, been assessing the security needs of the Capitol in light of the attack.
The commission, Nancy Pelosi said, “would investigate and report on the facts and causes” of the attack; “the interference with the peaceful transfer of power”; and the “preparedness and response” of both the Capitol police and other branches of law enforcement.
She also said that, based on Lt. Gen. Honoré’s initial findings, Congress needed to allocate additional funding to “provide for the safety of members and the security of the Capitol”.
A group of House Republicans wrote to Nancy Pelosi on February 15 complaining that their party had not been consulted about the general’s security review.
In the letter, they also demanded to know what Nancy Pelosi knew and the instructions she gave to secure the Capitol ahead of January 6.
House Republican Adam Kinzinger, who called for Donald Trump’s removal after the riots, was condemned by 11 members of his family in a handwritten letter, in which they said he was in cahoots with “the devil’s army”.
Donald Trump survived his second impeachment trial on February 13, after Democrat prosecutors failed to secure the two-thirds majority needed to convict him. He is the only president to have faced the process twice.
The vote split largely along party lines, with seven Republicans joining the Senate’s 48 Democrats and two independents in voting to convict.
The senior Republican in Congress, Senator Mitch McConnell, had voted against conviction on constitutional grounds, but after the vote declared Donald Trump “responsible” for the assault on the Capitol.
Other Republicans have also expressed support for an independent inquiry into the riots, including a close ally of Donald Trump, Senator Lindsay Graham.
Former President Donald Trump has been acquitted of inciting mob to attack the Capitol after the Senate voted 57 to 43.
Seven Republicans (Senators Sasse, Romney, Burr, Collins, Murkowski, Toomey and Cassidy) joining Democrats on the charge of incitement.
Democrats needed two-thirds of the Senate to vote guilty to convict.
Impeachment charges are political, not criminal. An impeachment acquittal essentially means the Senate did not find cause to remove a president from office.
If DonaldTrump had been convicted, the Senate could also have voted to prevent the former president from ever holding office again.
The Democratic-led House of Representatives approved the article of impeachment on January 13, with the support of 10 Republicans.
It was the verdict everyone expected, but the day was not without its drama. Seven Republicans voted along with Democrats to convict Donald Trump of inciting the violent attack on the Capitol last month.
In the end, they didn’t get the two-thirds majority they needed.
Donald Trump is the first president to be impeached twice and has set a record with the most votes to convict by members of his own party.
After Donald Trump was acquitted, first up was the leader of the Democrats in the Senate.
New York Senator Chuck Schumer: “January 6 will live as a day of infamy in the United States. The failure to convict Donald Trump will live as a vote of infamy in the history of the United States Senate.”
He criticized the 43 senators who voted to acquit Donald Trump who effectively “signed their names alongside his” in the history books.
The Democratic senator insisted one thing is certain – that Trump’s legacy will be embroiled in this scandal forevermore, making it nearly impossible for him to ever hold elected office again.
As the senator spoke, however, the Trump team released a statement promising a future for the Make America Great Again movement. Without a conviction, there is nothing barring Donald Trump from holding office again.
Whether Donald Trump runs again remains to be seen. But he will certainly wield his influence in other ways.
Donald Trump once again avoided conviction by the Senate because his fellow Republicans, by and large, stuck by his side.
He did not emerge from this impeachment trial unscathed, however.
One of the most memorable portions of the prosecution case by House managers were the new videos of Trump’s supporters, wearing Make America Great Again hats and waving Trump flags, ransacking the Capitol.
Those images will forever be associated with the Trump brand. Every rally he holds from here on will evoke memories of that riot.
According to the Associated Press, the Biden administration plans to start with two border crossings each processing up to 300 people a day and a third crossing taking fewer numbers.
The authorities say asylum seekers will be released with notices to appear in court in cities close to or in their final destinations, typically with family.
At the same time, Alejandro Mayorkas stressed that “individuals who are not eligible under this initial phase should wait for further instructions and not travel to the border”, amid concerns that many people would try to cross the border illegally.
February 12 announcement was welcomed in a sprawling migrant camp in the Mexican city of Matamoros, just across the border from Texas.
The border cities where migrants wait for months are suffering from growing crime rates.
In 2020, charity Human Rights First said “returned families, children and adults are being sent to highly dangerous situations where many suffered kidnappings, attacks, sexual assaults, threats and other incredible cruelty”.
An emergency declaration allows US presidents to circumvent the usual political process and to access military funding.
Various types of fencing totaling 654 miles were already in place before Donald Trump became president in 2017.
During his time in office, 80 miles of new barriers were built where there were none before, and almost 400 miles replaced existing parts of the structure.
Former Trump campaign advisor Jason Miller took to Twitter to comment on the decision, writing “Biden loves illegal immigration”.
However, some parts of the Trump administration’s immigration policy will be left in place.
At a press conference on February 10, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki appeared to confirm the new administration would keep a Trump-era policy that allowed border officials to summarily expel undocumented immigrants amid the coronavirus pandemic.
She said: “Due to the pandemic and the fact that we have not had the time, as an administration, to put in place a humane, comprehensive process for processing individuals who are coming to the border.
“Now is not the time to come, and the vast majority of people will be turned away.”
The impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is constitutional, the US Senate has found on February 9.
Therefore, the Senate is allowing full impeachment proceedings to begin.
Donald Trump’s defense team argued that he could not face trial after leaving the White House.
A 56-44 majority voted in favor of continuing, with a handful of Republicans backing the measure.
Donald Trump is accused of “inciting insurrection” when Congress was stormed on January 6.
Thousands gathered in support of claims that widespread electoral fraud denied Donald Trump victory in the presidential election.
However, Donald Trump is almost certain to be acquitted because only six Republican senators voted to move forward with impeachment, well short of the 17 Republicans whose votes would be needed to convict the former president.
Democrats prosecuting the case opened the proceedings by showing a dramatic video montage of Donald Trump’s January 6 speech and the deadly rioting by some of his supporters.
Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland said of the footage: “If that’s not an impeachable offence, then there’s no such thing.”
Donald Trump’s lawyers argued it was unconstitutional to put a former president through the process at all and accused Democrats of being politically motivated.
A two-thirds majority is required to convict Donald Trump in the evenly split 100-seat Senate. February 9 vote implies loyalty toward Donald Trump in the Republican Party remains high enough to avoid a conviction.
However, if convicted, the former president could be barred from holding office again.
Proceedings opened with impeachment managers – the Democrats tasked with leading the prosecution – arguing their attempts were legitimate.
In the 10-minute video used in their presentation, Donald Trump was shown telling his supporters to “fight like hell” before they stormed the Capitol in violence that resulted in five deaths – including a police officer.
Rep. Jamie Raskin was brought to tears as he recounted fear for his own family’s safety during the riot after he was separated from his visiting daughter.
“This cannot be the future of America,” he told senators, who act as jurors for impeachment.
“We cannot have presidents inciting and mobilizing mob violence against our government and our institutions because they refuse to accept the will of the people under the Constitution of the United States.”
Rep. Raskin argued there could be no “January exception” to impeaching outgoing officials without risking a dangerous precedent.
Donald Trump’s lawyers then took the stand to outline their arguments with detailed complaints and allegations about due process and the constitutionality of proceedings.
Former Pennsylvania prosecutor Bruce Castor opened the defense with a meandering presentation that was met with a critical reception by even allies of the former president.
A second lawyer, David Schoen, was more pointed. He showed videos dating back to 2017 as evidence of what he labeled as an “insatiable lust for impeachment” among Democratic lawmakers.
He told senators: “What they really want to accomplish here in the name of the Constitution is to bar Donald Trump from ever running for political office again, but this is an affront to the Constitution no matter who they target today.”
Republican Senator Bill Cassidy, one of the six to vote with Democrats, said after that the House prosecution had “made a compelling, cogent case and the president’s team did not”.
Media reports suggest Donald Trump – whose Twitter account has been banned – expressed anger at his lawyers’ performance while watching on TV from Florida.
The Trump administration’s rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine calling it “chaotic” and “very limited”, President Joe Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain has said.
Ron Klain said there was no plan in the federal government for the distribution of vaccines across the United States.
President Joe Biden, who took office on January 20, has promised 100 million vaccine shots in his first 100 days.
The US has now reported more than 25 million Covid-19 cases.
About 417,500 deaths have been linked to the new coronavirus. In recent weeks, the daily number of Covid-linked deaths in the US has, on some days, exceeded 4,000.
President Biden signed a raft of new measures last week, including boosting vaccinations and testing. He has urged Americans to wear masks and warned that the death toll could get much worse.
His efforts follow widespread criticism of the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic and of the vaccination program.
Vaccines have been distributed to states, and states and cities are carrying out the inoculations. But some have complained they are struggling with supply.
According to the CDC, about 41 million doses had been distributed by January 23 across the country, but only 20.5 million had been administered.
Speaking to NBC News, Ron Klain said: “The process to distribute the vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals out into the community as a whole, did not really exist when we came into the White House.”
He said it was a “complex” process but that the Biden administration would set up federal vaccination sites to help states without enough places.
Covid- 19 infections have spiraled in recent months – with a jump in new infections after Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
Hospital numbers hit their highest levels during the pandemic earlier this month but are slowly starting to drop alongside daily cases.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said on January 21 that rolling average data appeared to show infections leveling off.
Although the national picture has stabilized slightly, he warned the country remained in a “very serious situation”.
The CDC is particularly concerned that new variants could accelerate the virus spread.
The strain has been detected in 20 states, Dr. Fauci said January 21, but warned the country had “limited ability” to track its spread through the population.
President Biden has already enacted a raft of executive measures to combat the virus and he wants Congress to pass a $1.9tn package of economic relief funding.
He is hoping to get bipartisan approval for his broad stimulus agenda, but the proposal has already been met with skepticism and resistance by some Republicans.
Another one of the new president’s key promises is to oversee 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days in office, but some have criticized this policy as not ambitious enough.
The current approved suppliers – Moderna and Pfizer – have pledged to deliver 200 million doses by March. Dr. Fauci has also suggested emergency approval of a third vaccine, a single-dose jab by Johnson & Johnson, could be just weeks away.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was appointed chief medical adviser by the new president, has expressed hope that if 70-85% of the US population is vaccinated by the end of summer, the country could “approach a degree of normality” by autumn.
Earlier on the day, Joe Biden, 78, attended Mass at a cathedral in Washington – along with four Roman Catholic congressional leaders, both Democrats and Republicans.
Donald Trump left the White House at about 08:00AM on January 20, and flew to the nearby Andrews Air Force base.
In his farewell address at the base, Donald Trump highlighted what he regarded as the successes of his presidency.
He said: “What we’ve done has been amazing by any standard.”
Donald Trump, 74, then left for his Mar-a-Lago golf club in Florida, where he arrived later in the morning.
In his last hours as president, Donald Trump granted clemency to more than 140 people, including his former adviser Steve Bannon, who had been facing fraud charges.
The political drama surrounding Donald Trump is far from over. The Senate is expected to put him on trial soon, following his record second impeachment by the House of Representatives for allegedly inciting the Capitol riot.
On January 19, the Senate’s Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, said the mob had been provoked by Donald Trump and fed lies.
On inauguration day, President Donald Trump’s office is cleaned out, swept of signs that he and his staff had ever been there, ready for the Biden team to move in.
The cleaning out of White House’s West Wing offices, and the transition between presidents, is part of a tradition that dates back centuries. It’s a process that has not always been imbued with warmth.
Another impeached president, Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, snubbed Republican Ulysses S Grant in 1869 and skipped the inauguration. Ulysses Grant, who had backed Andrew Johnson’s removal from office, was hardly surprised.
Today, however, the transition stands out for its acrimony. The process usually starts straight after the election, but it started weeks late after President Trump refused to accept the result. And the president has said he will not attend the inauguration. Most likely, Donald Trump will instead travel to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.
Even in the best of times, the logistics of a transition are daunting, involving the transfer of knowledge and employees on a massive scale.
About 4,000 political appointees hired by the Trump administration who will lose their job and be replaced by individuals hired by Joe Biden.
During an average transition, between 150,000-300,000 people apply for these jobs, according to the Center for Presidential Transition, a nonpartisan organization based in Washington. About 1,100 of the positions also require Senate confirmation. Filling all of these positions takes months, even years.
Four years of policy papers, briefing books and artefacts relating to the president’s work will be carted off to the National Archives where they will be kept secret for 12 years, unless the president himself decides that portions may be released early.
Furniture in the White House, such as the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, most of the artwork, china and other objects, belong to the government and will remain on the premises.
Other items, like photos of the president that hang in the hallway, will be taken down as the White House is transformed for its new occupants.
The Trumps’ personal belongings, such as clothes, jewellery, and other items will be moved to their new residence, most likely at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
This year, the place will be deep cleaned.
President Trump, as well as dozens of others at the White House, were infected with the coronavirus over the past several months, and the six-floor building, with its 132 rooms, will be thoroughly scrubbed down. Everything from handrails to elevator buttons to restroom fixtures will be wiped and sanitized, according to a spokeswoman for the General Services Administration, the federal agency that oversees the housekeeping effort.
Incoming first families usually do some redecoration. Within days of arriving at the White House, Donald Trump had chosen a portrait of populist president Andrew Jackson for the Oval Office. He also replaced the drapes, couches and a rug in the office with ones that were gold-colored. On inauguration day, VP Mike Pence and his wife will also make way for Kamala Harris, and her husband, Doug Emhoff. They will be settling into their official residence, a 19th Century residence on the Naval Observatory grounds, a couple of miles from the White House.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take the oath to make them officially president and vice-president, but this will be a much scaled back affair, due to Covid and the recent riots.
The inauguration of a new president is a day that usually follows decades of custom and precedent. A day that follows a routine set in stone. Well, you can forget all that this year.
Here’s everything you need to know about the big day.
What is the inauguration?
The inauguration is the formal ceremony that marks the start of a new presidency, and it takes place in Washington DC.
The only required feature is that the president-elect recite the presidential oath of office.
“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Once he utters these words, Joe Biden will then take his place as the 46th president and the inauguration will be complete (but that’s not all – celebrations follow).
Kamala Harris will become vice-president once she takes the oath of office, which usually happens just before the president.
What time is the inauguration?
Opening remarks are usually scheduled for around 11:30 EST and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in around midday. By law, inauguration day is always January 20.
Joe Biden will move into the White House later in the day – his home for the next four years.
Presidential inaugurations typically involve detailed security plans, but even more so now, after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol on January 6.
Officials have ramped up security and closed off large sections of the city. The Secret Service has taken command of the security plans, backed up by some 25,000 National Guard troops, in addition to thousands of police officers.
In a video message posted to the White House’s Twitter account, President Trump has condemned the violence in the Capitol last week, saying “violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement”.
He did not make any reference to impeachment.
The president ends with a call for unity.
“All of us can choose by our actions to rise above the rancor and find common ground and shared purpose. We must focus on advancing the interests of the whole nation, delivering the miracle vaccines, defeating the pandemic, rebuilding the economy, protecting our national security and upholding the rule of law,” Donald Trump said.
“Today I am calling on all Americans to overcome the passions of the moment, and join together as one American people,” he said.
“God bless you, and God bless America.”
When he was first impeached in 2019, President Trump became part of a small group of rebuked US leaders.
After today, President Trump is the first president to be impeached twice.
Only two other presidents in history have been impeached by the House of Representatives – Andrew Johnson, back in 1868, and Bill Clinton in 1998.
President Richard Nixon stepped down and resigned.
But to date, no president has ever been removed from the White House by Congress.
Google-owned video service YouTube has become the latest platform to suspend President Donald Trump’s account.
YouTube has prevented the president’s account from uploading new videos or live-streaming material for a minimum of seven days, and has said it may extend the period.
It said Donald Trump’s channel had broken its rules over the incitement of violence.
The president had posted several videos on January 12, some of which remain online.
Google has not provided details of what President Trump said in the video it banned.
The move came hours after civil rights groups had threatened to organize an ads boycott against YouTube.
Jim Steyer – who previously helped coordinate similar action against Facebook last year – had called on Google to go further and take President Trump’s channel offline.
He tweeted after the suspension: “We hope they will make it permanent. It is disappointing that it took a Trump-incited attack to get here, but appears that the major platforms are finally beginning to step up.”
Google said that President Trump could still face his page being closed if he falls foul of its three-strikes policy.
It said in a statement: “After review, and in light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, we removed new content uploaded to Donald J. Trump’s channel for violating our policies.
“It now has its first strike and is temporarily prevented from uploading new content for a minimum of seven days.
“Given the ongoing concerns about violence, we will also be indefinitely disabling comments on President Trump’s channel, as we’ve done to other channels where there are safety concerns found in the comments section.”
President Trump had already been suspended by Facebook and Instagram following January 6 rioting on Capitol Hill, until at least the transition of power to Joe Biden on January 20.
Joe Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris are expected to be sworn in at a ceremony at the Capitol. The Biden team had already urged Americans to avoid travelling to the capital because of the Covid-19 pandemic, a call that is now being repeated by local authorities.
According to security officials, there will be no repeat of the breach seen on January 6, when thousands of pro-Trump supporters were able to break into the building where members of Congress were voting to certify the election result.
Five people died in the riot, which happened after President Trump repeated unsubstantiated claims of fraud in the November vote and encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol.
Since then, calls for Donald Trump’s resignation, removal from office or impeachment have grown among Democrats and some Republicans.
President Trump has made no public statements since he was banned from several social media platforms – including Twitter – on January 8.
Donald Trump became the third president to be impeached in December 2019 over charges of breaking the law by asking Ukraine to investigate his rival in the presidential election. The Senate cleared him.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stepped up the pressure on VP Mike Pence to act to remove President Donald Trump from office over his role in last week’s storming of Congress.
Lawmakers are expected to bring up a resolution asking VP Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to declare the president unfit for office.
Mike Pence is said to oppose the idea.
If he refuses, the House will hold a vote to impeach President Trump who had urged supporters to march on the Capitol.
Donald Trump has been accused by Democrats and an increasing number of fellow Republicans over the riot, following a rally in which the president repeated unsubstantiated allegations of vote fraud. Five people died in the attack, including a Capitol police officer.
President Trump has made no public statements since he was banned from social media platforms on January 8.
He is due to leave office on January 20, when Joe Biden will be sworn in as president.
Donald Trump has said he will not attend Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony.
Nancy Pelosi wrote to lawmakers saying the House of Representatives would present a resolution on January 11 to formally request that VP Pence invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which would allow him to remove President Trump from the White House and become acting president.
The House could vote on the resolution on January 12. After that, Mike Pence and the cabinet would be given 24 hours to act before the House’s potential move toward impeachment.
Nancy Pelosi wrote in her letter: “We will act with urgency, because this president represents an imminent threat to both.
“The horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this president is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.”
Although Mike Pence has appeared to distance himself from the president by saying on January 10 he planned to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration, there is no sign that the vice-president is prepared to invoke the amendment.
In a separate development, First Lady Melania Trump, who rarely makes public comments about political events, condemned January 6 violence, saying the “nation must heal in a civil manner”.
Melania Trump said in a statement called Our Path Forward released by the White House: “I implore people to stop the violence, never make assumptions based on the color of a person’s skin or use differing political ideologies as a basis for aggression and viciousness.”
House Democrats have vowed to press ahead quickly with impeachment. To impeach, in this context, means to bring charges in Congress, and Nancy Pelosi said Democrats could introduce a charge of “incitement of insurrection” against President Trump.
Senior lawmakers say a vote to impeach President Trump in the House could be held by mid-week.
Donald Trump could become the only president in US history to have been impeached twice.
Joe Biden has said impeachment is for Congress to decide, even though he has thought “for a long time President Trump was not fit to hold the job”.
President Donald Trump has been permanently suspended from Twitter “due to the risk of further incitement of violence”, the platform announces.
It said the decision was made “after close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account”.
The move comes amid a Big Tech purge of the online platforms used by President Trump and his supporters.
Some lawmakers and celebrities have been calling for years on Twitter to ban President Trump altogether.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted on January 7 that the Silicon Valley giants should stop enabling President Trump’s “monstrous behavior” and permanently expel him.
Donald Trump was locked out of his account for 12 hours on January 6 after he called the people who stormed the Capitol “patriots”.
Hundreds of the president’s supporters entered the complex as the Congress attempted to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. The ensuing violence led to the deaths of four civilians and a police officer.
Twitter warned then that it would ban President Trump “permanently” if he breached the platform’s rules again.
After being allowed back on Twitter, Donald Trump posted two tweets on January 8 that the company cited as the final straws.
In one, the president wrote: “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
Twitter said this tweet “is being interpreted as further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an ‘orderly transition'”.
In the next, he tweeted: “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
Twitter said this was “being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate”.
Twitter said both of these tweets were “in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy”.
After Twitter had permanently suspended his @realDonaldTrump account, Donald Trump tweeted from the US president’s official @Potus account suggesting he would “look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the future” and railing against Twitter.
The tweets were removed from the platform as soon as they were posted.
On January 8, Twitter permanently banned the account of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and two Trump loyalists: former national security adviser Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell.
Later in the day, Google suspended Parler – a self-styled “free speech” rival to Twitter that is increasingly popular with Trump supporters – from its online store.
The company said: “We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the US.”
On January 7, Facebook said it had suspended President Trump “indefinitely”. The popular gaming platform Twitch also placed an indefinite ban on the outgoing president’s channel, which he has used for rally broadcasts. So has Snapchat.
Two online Trump memorabilia stores were closed this week by e-commerce company Shopify. On January 8, Reddit banned its “donaldtrump” forum for the president’s supporters.
Donald Trump used Twitter to insult adversaries, cheer allies, fire officials, deny “fake news” and vent grievances, often using all capital letters and exclamation marks to underline his point.
Though critics said the posts were a torrent of misinformation, the medium helped him get around media filters and instantly connect with nearly 89 million followers.
Donald Trump’s tweets were also known for the occasional spelling error, and he sometimes left followers guessing with apparent mis-types, such as when he posted: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.”
In 2017, the Department of Justice said that President Trump’s tweets were “official statements of the President of the United States”.
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