A week after supporters of incumbent US President Donald Trump assailed the Capitol in Washington, Congress seemed determined to remove the Republican president just seven days to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named nine Impeachment Managers on Tuesday to proceed with the removal of Trump after Vice President Mike Pence told House leaders that he does not support invoking the 25th Amendment process to remove Trump.
The 25th Amendment allows the vice president and Cabinet to remove a rogue or incapacitated president but Pence argued that Trump was not indisposed, adding that the option was not good for America’s democracy.
According to CNN photos, scores of National Guard members besieged the seat of US democracy on Wednesday as congressmen and women proceeded with the impeachment process.
Photos from inside the building showed some National Guards members preparing for the day. Some were seen picking up weapons while others were seen resting on the floor.
Democrats mobilised rapidly to begin the process to have Trump removed after he encouraged his supporters last Wednesday to “march” to the US Capitol and “fight”.
In a violent insurrection, the rioters stormed past outnumbered police, rampaged through and ransacked the building, and interrupted Congress as it was certifying Joe Biden’s election victory.
Pence, who was presiding over the vote, as well as Pelosi and other lawmakers, were forced to take shelter. Five people died during the unrest including a US Capitol Police officer.
Political leaders across all continents have condemned Trump’s action, with many accusing him of dragging one of the world’s most respected and resilient democracy in the mud.