A disgraceful scene has played out in which Donald Trump has become the first U.S. president to be impeached by Congress twice. It is obvious that he lacks the qualifications for public office. He should never be involved in politics again after he leaves the presidency.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a resolution to impeach Trump over the incident in which his supporters occupied the Capitol.
The impeachment resolution says the episode occurred because Trump incited his supporters and calls for him to be removed from office on the grounds that “incitement of insurrection” constitutes an impeachable offense.
If at least two-thirds of senators present vote in favor of his impeachment at a trial in the Senate, Trump will be convicted. However, his remaining term of office is less than one week. The trial takes a certain amount of time and there is almost no possibility of it being concluded before he retires from the presidency.
The opposition Democratic Party has led the impeachment movement all the same because it apparently took seriously this situation in which the president himself has acted to destroy the foundation of democracy. In the vote at the House of Representatives, 10 lawmakers from the ruling Republican Party also voted in favor of impeachment, rebelling against the president.
The occupation of the Capitol by his supporters suspended proceedings to formally confirm the election of Democratic candidate Joe Biden as the next president at a joint session of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the riot claimed the lives of as many as five people, including a police officer. The image of the United States as a country that promotes democracy throughout the world has been seriously damaged.
Many countries, including Japan, deplore the current situation in the United States and are concerned about its future. Even though Trump will leave office, he should not be allowed to obscure his responsibility for the incident.
In order to restore the trust that the United States has lost and maintain its role as a model for the world, it is important to hold thorough hearings in the Senate.
Trump denies his responsibility for the incident, claiming the impeachment is a “witch hunt.” He has not yet retracted his absurd claim that there was fraud in the presidential election. He finally agreed to the transition of power, but said that he would not attend the presidential inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20.
It has been a symbol of the peaceful transfer of power and national reconciliation in the United States for outgoing and incoming presidents to attend the presidential inauguration ceremony together and shake hands. By not attending the ceremony, Trump apparently aims to make his supporters doubt the legitimacy of Biden as president.
The moves to obstruct Biden’s efforts to unify the people are nothing but appalling. With fears growing that the inauguration ceremony could become a target for an attack, the capital has entered a state of high alert as though it were a battlefield.
Twitter Inc. has decided to permanently suspend Trump’s account, saying that it could fuel violence.
It is understandable that Twitter needs to restrict his tweets to prevent such an incident from occurring. However, it is not desirable to leave a major social media organization to decide on its own whether someone can use social media. Careful discussion is necessary.
— The original Japanese article appeared in The Yomiuri Shimbun on Jan. 15, 2021.