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Plugged In-Attack on Capitol TRANSCRIPT


[[GRETA]]

On Plugged In …

Attack on the Capitol …

President Donald Trump …

faces another impeachment ...

as Americans …

try to understand ...

the violence that unfolded …

at the home of the U.S. Congress.


[[Douglas Brinkley Soundbite “We’ve never had a siege at the US capitol, we’ve never had someone break in, in a mob and create mayhem like this.”]]

Many questions remain …

about how the mob …

of Trump supporters …

could breach …

the symbol of American democracy …

leaving five people dead …

including a U.S. Capitol police officer,

[Terry Gainer Soundbite “this clearly caught the security forces off guard."]

Social media moves …

to silence the president …

as we examine ...

the attack’s impact …

on American politics …

and society …

On Plugged In …

Attack on the Capitol

[[ GRETA ]]

Hello and welcome …

to Plugged In.

I’m Greta Van Susteren …

reporting from Washington, DC.

For the second time ...

President Donald Trump …

faces impeachment.

Democrats in the …

U.S. House of Representatives ...

introduced Articles of Impeachment...

charging the President …

with incitement …

of deadly violence …

on the Capitol.

In the wake …

of the January 6th attack ...

several cabinet secretaries …

and other …

Trump administration officials ...

have resigned their posts.

The president’s …

social media accounts …

have been muted …

including a permanent ban …

from Twitter.

VOA Congressional Correspondent …

Katherine Gypson (JIP-son) …

reports on Democrats’ options …

for removing Trump …

just days before his term ends.

INTRO: The Democratic-majority U.S. House of Representatives will vote to impeach President Donald Trump as early as Wednesday, charging him with inciting an insurrection in an attempt to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory. VOA's Congressional Correspondent Katherine Gypson reports.

((NARRATOR))

((Wide shot of protesters in front of US Capitol in AP US Capitol Siege 1))

((MANDATORY COURTESY first shot - TYLER BAGGINS))

One week after pro-Trump protesters invaded the U.S. Capitol to overturn the counting of Electoral College votes certifying President-elect Joe Biden win...

((Nats, protesters saying “Our house”)) (( at about 00:20 seconds into AP US Capitol Siege 1)) ((MANDATORY COURTESY protesters enterting Capitol - ELIJAH SCHAFFER/BLAZETV))

((NARRATOR))

((Broll of Nancy Pelosi walking to lectern in AP US Capitol Siege 1 at 1:41))

…..House Democrats have the votes to impeach President Donald Trump, charging he incited that riot.

((Nats, helicopter/cheers as Trump departs White House))

((NARRATOR))

((AP Trump Broll Tuesday))

Trump on Tuesday disavowed the violence, speaking in public for the first time since the riot. Instead, he blamed opposition Democrats for moving to impeach him a second time.

((President Donald Trump))

((10;28;30;21 MRT TRUMP want no violence impeachment witch hunt))

“It’s really a terrible thing that they’re doing. For Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and I think it’s causing tremendous anger. I want no violence.”

((NARRATOR))

((ABC Capitol Siege 2 at 00:52-Broll of Pence departing car for WH meeting))

Vice President Mike Pence met with Trump Tuesday for the first time since the January 6 riot - and it appears he will not answer Democrats’ call to invoke the 25th Amendment declaring Trump incapacitated and temporarily removing him from office.

Trump Cabinet members declined to address such a move.

((Radio version: Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar declining to speak about acting on that removal…))

((Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services))

((ABC Capitol Siege 3 at 00:44))

“I’m not going to get into or discuss the 25th Amendment here.”

((NARRATOR))

((Pelosi Broll))

Democrats say that leaves them no choice but to impeach the president with just days left in his term.

((Radio version: Brian Kalt is a constitutional law expert at Michigan State University))

((Brian Kalt, Law Professor, Michigan State University))

((Kalt Interview at 2:44))

((Mandatory Courtesy: Radio Free Europe))

“Removal is the main consequence of being convicted, and that is moot once his (Trump’s) term is over. But there is another consequence which is disqualification from holding future office.”

((NARRATOR))

((Back time AP Toomey Bite))

One Republican senator says Trump’s behavior already prevents a possible 2024 presidential run.

((Radio Version: Republican Senator Pat Toomey says the president’s behavior already prevents a possible 2024 presidential run.))

((Senator Pat Toomey, Republican))

((AP Toomey Bite))

((Mandatory Courtesy: NBC News/Meet the Press))

“I don’t think he’s a viable candidate for office ever again because of the outrageous behavior in the post-election period.”

((NARRATOR))

Most Republicans are standing by Trump, but new Republican House Representative Madison Cawthorn, who was at the president’s rally just before the riot, says he went too far.

((Rep. Madison Cawthorn, Republican))

((Crawthorn Bite at 1:08))

“He never should have directed that crowd towards the Capitol Building because a bad outcome was destined at that point.”

((NARRATOR))

((Capitol Dome Broll then over to broll of Biden in BidenBite))

A Senate impeachment trial of Trump would run well past his time in office – President-elect Biden telling reporters that trial does not necessarily delay the work of his administration – including a new COVID aid package.

((President-elect Joe Biden))

((Biden Bite))

“We go a half day on dealing with impeachment and a half day on getting my people nominated and confirmed in the Senate, as well as moving on the package. So that's my hope and expectation.”

((NARRATOR))

((Broll of Trump and end on Capitol protests video))

If Trump is impeached this week, he would become the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.

((Katherine Gypson, VOA News, Washington))

[[GRETA]]

One U.S. Capitol …

police officer...

Brian Sicknick ...

died from injuries …

sustained in the attack.

One attacker …

was shot and killed …

by a Capitol Police officer …

while three others …

in the mob …

died after medical emergencies.

Federal, state and local …

law enforcement agencies …

are making arrests …

of those involved in the attack …

and threats of further attacks …

are being investigated.

But major questions remain ...

about how the mob …

was able to organize ...

and quickly overrun officers ...

protecting the Capitol building.

Some Capitol police officers …

are being investigated …

for their roles in the attack.

Terrance Gainer was chief …

of the Capitol Police …

from 2002 to 2006 …

We talked about this incident ...

future plots ...

And protecting the Capitol …

in the days...

leading up to Joe Biden’s inauguration.

[[GAINER INTERVIEW]]

GVS: Chief nice to speak to, sir.

TG: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

GVS: Chief, looking at the video from January- on January, 6, what did you think?

TG: Well I was shocked as it unfolded and crushed, didn't think it could happen, as you saw it unfold more and more, you got personally sicker (inaudible)... so much time and energy into the security there.

GVS: in terms of Washington DC, there are a number of police forces and security. Who protects the US Capitol?

TG: The United States Capitol Police is responsible for the Capitol Complex, the office buildings, hundreds of (inaudible) the members of the Senate and House around the United States, and the members themselves, and then when constitutional officers or dignitaries are on the hill, it's the responsibility of the Capitol Police in conjunction, probably with, not probably, with the Secret Service, or the State Department officials.

GVS: Does the Washington dc Metropolitan Police Department Do they have any role in protecting the Capitol?

TG: Well, it's really a joint operation, especially when there's an event like the inauguration coming up, or even the one that was on January sixth, because we will all be aware that there's a large event, down by the White House, and there obviously was enough intelligence that they were going to come up to the Hill. so they would coordinate their activities, but (inaudible).... it is the responsibility of the United States Capitol Police.

GVS: about how many are employed in the Capitol Police?

TG: Well, the total is about 2700. not all of them are sworn because they cover a variety of positions where non-sworn officers (inaudible) whole hazardous material response is done by sworn personnel. But, as a rule, there are enough officers to handle most events and they do. When the events are going to get bigger, again like the State of the Union, or the inauguration, or large marches, peaceful protests, they can handle that. Because generally all those are done by (inaudible), even if they’re loud and boisterous, and even if there's minor violations about blocking the sidewalk or not having the proper permit, you could put up with that. But this clearly caught the security forces off guard.

GVS: So you coordinate if if you know something's gonna happen with the DC police. what about the Defense Department, our military?

TG: The use of the National Guard is not the normal way to do it. in a large event you might call in specialty units or the military to be there, medical people on standby, people who could handle chemical warfare would be on standby. But for an event like this, if you did use the National Guard, it would be for intersection control in support of law enforcement. This type of event, really required the coordination of law enforcement on the Capitol with the Metropolitan Police, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and those are counties for your listeners that are contiguous to the District of Columbia, as long as the, as the federal authorities.

GVS: All right about 18 or 16 blocks from the Capitol is the White House where the President lives and works. It is, it is fortified, there's a big fence around it, you've got a lot of security there. I go in and out of the US Capitol as a journalist and it does not have that level of fortification, it seems more open. Would you agree with that, that suggestion?

TG: Yes, it's dangerously open, but it's exactly the symbol that everybody wants to send about the, openness of the (inaudible) and the symbol of the United States and around the world. And the members want that activity and people close. As a security expert, you're nervous about it. And we had alternative suggestion about large fences that were tastefully done, where people could come in 24/7, but it's just not the look a lot of people like.

GVS: well last summer we had protests outside the White House, 16 blocks away from the Capitol, and that was contained and never got into the White House grounds or into the White House. and I suspect in large part because the fortification, right?

TG: Well, that was a large part of that. But comparing January 6 to that June event is a little bit misleading, because all of us in the security business and even everyday Americans saw that, that was (inaudible) mishandled -- by the military active military forces, without the coordination of the Metropolitan Police Department, against peaceful protesters. And I suspect there's the reaction of that, then, was overcorrection, then everybody wants to be careful and not look like you're too heavy-handed. So the trick is, how do you balance openness, with people intent on doing harm?

GVS: it would be helpful to know if you're going to have trouble. It -does is the Capitol Police, do they have help from the FBI or from other law enforcement to tell them what's on the internet for instance what might be the possible chatter warning them of danger?

TG: Well, not only are they partners with other agencies and share intelligence, the Capitol Police has a robust intelligence unit of its own. but they also have people assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, and they have personnel assigned to the Secret Service, or the Secret Service up on the hill. So one would think that that should have been good cooperation. Now your you and your viewers may be aware that the chief now who has resigned indicated that he asked for certain additional protections for which the police board wouldn't give (inaudible), there has to be conversations about that. But even that request doesn't free up the chief from them reaching out to police departments, if he couldn't get National Guard to get help from other people. You've been in Washington long enough to know Greta, that there's a council of government, and there's a lot of activities, being the multiple police departments within a city and in those counties surrounding the city.

GVS: You know, it's very easy in hindsight to see where balls get dropped on any sort of incident. Did the chief really fail or is it I mean, or is it just sort of- was this, was an incident that there was that he acted reasonably in?

TG: well we got to find that out. I know the chief, he worked for me when I was at the DC police department. I know the two sergeants of arms. They're good hard-working men with 30 stellar years of career. something went wrong. it certainly wasn't (inaudible) But it looks like there was either poor planning, the poor execution of a plan, or the inability to adapt as the situation changed on the ground, and that's where you would want to have forces in the background. So unfortunately, those three men are going to be judged on all event, the worst day of their life, not all the good things they did (inaudible) ...the United States that people like chief son who so honorably served in the District of Columbia--- but the buck stops on the desk of the chief and the Senate and House Sergeant of Arms, both positions I held before, and I wasn't shy about saying, had I been in either one of those positions, I would have expected that I'd be fired after I explained what I did or didn't do.

GVS: And are the sergeant of arms sort of the top people on Capitol Hill so it doesn’t go to any senators or any members of Congress, I mean they have the authority to act?

TG: They do have the authority to act, both the Senate and House Sergeant of Arms, in conjunction with the Architect of the Capitol who's also on the police board. But if you wanted to go to extraordinary means, if you wanted to bring active duty military in, or even a

(inaudible) and get permission and affirmation from those two organizations. But there should have been discussions about what are the needs, what are our concerns, and if we need more people where are we going to get them?

GVS: You know, looking forward, I you know I obviously want the Capitol safe, and everybody who works there, but I sure love the symbolism of how open it's been and how accessible it really does send a message to citizens that visited or people around the world. But do you see this sort of like almost like a, almost like a 9/11 day when things are changing so dramatically that now we'll have an enormous amount of security there going forward?

TG: Well, I think the physical barriers are, we have what we need as to vehicles. and we have enough technology and we have enough air cover support. but the ability of people (inaudible) who are really intent on anarchists to attack is tough if your only defense is leaving large amount of officers deployed. So it's the same effect Greta, that you can either have tasteful barriers, where people have 24/7 access, but have to go into the barriers, through checkpoints, that are stood off from the Capitol. (inaudible) So the question is do you want heavily armed helmeted people as if they are in combat? or you want something in between? And the challenge we'll figure out -how you're going to do that?

GVS: on the 20th we have inauguration of a new President Biden. I suspect that we'll have a tremendous amount of security on that day. Do you agree?

TG: yes I do because I've (inaudible) already brought in the smaller area of capital ...in the larger area of the hill it sits on. There's already some 16,000 military personnel out there, the planning for that has been going on for over a year, as it was when I ran some of those operations. There'll be some 5000 law enforcement officers from the United States to be brought in from the counties to supplement the Secret Service the FBI and the Capitol Police. I am confident, the inauguration of the next president of the United States will come off smoothly.

GVS: Chief, Thank you very much. Miss you on Capitol Hill.

TG: Thank you. Keep up the good work.

GVS: Thank you, sir.

GVS: Chief, obviously there’s a loss of life there- your thoughts?

TG: Listen: the primary responsibility of the Capitol Police or the Secret Service is the protection of life and the way the system is to run. It was ugly but ultimately the Capitol Police, along with backup from the Metropolitan Police Department, were able to regain control of the Capitol, get those terrorists out of there, and (inaudible) and then the legislative process continued in the certification of the president. But that was the cost to a united states capitol police officer, who was beat and died. It was also the cost of three protesters that were up there, and then later an officer who died two days later. So it came with a heavy cost to keep that Capitol open and to finish the business. Our heart goes out to the families that lost loved ones.

GVS: Indeed- thank you Chief.

[[GRETA ]]

While Democrats turn …

to impeachment …

as their way to hold …

President Trump accountable …

for the attack …

Republicans in Congress …

are split on what to do …

and how to do it.

Plugged In’s Steve Redisch …

explains the political peril …

Republicans face …

with an impeachment vote.

[[REDISCH PKG]]

####

((INTRO: ))

[[This week’s joint session of Congress shaped up as President Donald Trump’s last chance – however far-fetched – to subvert the November election results and claim victory for another term. And he counted on the continued loyalty of Vice President Mike Pence, who formally presided over the proceeding. Steve Redisch has more. ]]

((NATSOT/VO gavel to order // shots of the opening of the joint session AFP))

“Madam Speaker, Members of Congress, Pursuant to the constitution and the laws of the United States ….”

((NARRATOR))

Objections by congressional Republicans to the constitutionally required ceremony of counting the electoral votes certifying that Democrat Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election were expected.

((VO NAT SOUND riots various))

((NARRATOR))

But a riot by supporters of President Donald Trump, and his unfounded claims that the election was fraudulent, broke open the growing cracks in Trump’s Republican wall of support.

((SOT-Chris Edelson 7:02))

((Chris Edelson, American University)) ((MANDATORY CG: Skype))

“The Republican Party, unfortunately, has become, really, a cult of personality. And as I said, to be a Republican means to support President Trump no matter what.”

(((VO Pence walking, Joint Session video ))

((NARRATOR))

But tireless loyalty from Vice President Mike Pence ended Wednesday, telling supporters what he told Trump the day before – he has no power to subvert the election results.

((VO Trump Jan 6 rally set up sot)) ((AP))

((NARRATOR))

Trump kept up the pressure on Pence during a rally near the White House hours before the count began.

((SOT Trump from Jan 6 rally)) AP

((Donald Trump, U.S. President))

“All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertify and we become president and you are the happiest people.” (applause out)

((VO: rioters prior to breach on cap hill))

((NARRATOR))

Before the mob breached the Capitol, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned his colleagues of the political peril they faced by objecting.

((SOT McConnell from Senate Debate))

((Senator Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader))

“The Constitution gives us here in Congress a limited role. // The voters, the courts and the states have all spoken. They've all spoken. If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever.”

((VO Hawley in Senate debate Wednesday)) AP

((NARRATOR))

Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri was the first to sponsor an objection to the electoral vote count.

((VO riot video))

After the rioters were dispersed, and order restored in the Senate, Hawley remained undeterred even as the rioting had tightened the resolve of Democrats and some Republicans to approve Biden’s win.

((SOT: Hawley from Senate Debate))

((Senator Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican))

“To those who say this is just a formality today, an antique ceremony that we have engaged in for a couple of hundred years, I can’t say that I agree. // … the opportunity to be heard, to register objections is very vital because this is the place where those objections are to be heard and dealt with, debated and finally resolved.”

((VO keep Hawley video going to show Romney over shoulder // Romney VO setup)) AP

((NARRATOR))

Senator Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for president in 2012, took the young senator and others to task for supporting Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud.

((SOT: Romney from Senate Debate on objection)) AP

((Senator Mitt Romney, Utah Republican))

“No congressional audit is ever going to convince these voters, particularly when the president will continue to say that the election was stolen. The best way we can show respect for the voters who were upset is by telling them the truth … (APPLAUSE)) …That’s the burden, thaat’s the duty of leadership. The truth is that President-elect Biden won the election. President Trump lost. I have had that experience myself. It’s no fun.”

((VO Trump walking alone))

((NARRATOR))

And in the waning days of his single term, Trump faces the possibility of a second impeachment vote, which may force members of his own party to make a stand one way or another.

((Steve Redisch, VOA News, Washington))

[[GRETA]]

Many involved …

in the attack …

made their intentions known …

through social media.

And social media …

is playing a role …

in naming and shaming ….

participants who were shown …

in photos and videos …

some of which were self-streamed.

The decision …

by social media company Twitter ...

to permanently suspend ...

President Donald Trump’s account ...

raises broader questions

about the boundaries between

censorship and freedom of speech.

VOA’s Tina Trinh has more.

[[TRINH PKG]]

####

((INTRO))

[[The attack on the U.S. Capitol has reignited criticism of social media and its alleged role in inciting violence. While Facebook and Twitter have banned President Trump, there are questions about the future of online speech. Tina Trinh reports.]]

((NARRATOR))

Last week’s violence at the U.S. Capitol came after weeks of social media activity by President Donald Trump and others. Facebook was one meeting place.

((Jesse Lehrich, Co-founder, Accountable Tech)) ((Mandatory Skype logo))

“When you've got three billion people on a platform that is optimized for maximum engagement with no check from government … that's how we got where we are.”

((NARRATOR))

Social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Snap responded by suspending or outright banning President Trump and some supporters’ accounts. There’s an effort to remove content such as the phrase “stop the steal,” a rallying cry for those who say Trump really won the presidential election.

Amazon Web Services, the web hosting provider for Parler, a conservative alternative to Twitter, took it offline, while Google and Apple banned the app from its app stores.

Those who lost their digital perch are crying foul. Others say the shutdowns came too late and don’t go far enough. There are renewed calls for laws on online speech and a push to reduce the power that tech companies have. Experts say more attention is needed as to what happens after so-called deplatforming.

((Megan Squire, Professor of Computer Science, Elon University)) ((Mandatory Skype logo))

“That’s the phase we’re in right now, and it could be incredibly dangerous if we don’t take that moment seriously.”

Megan Squire is a professor at Elon University who studies the online activity of extremist groups.

((Megan Squire, Professor of Computer Science, Elon University)) ((Mandatory Skype logo))

“It’s not enough to wash your hands of a person and say, ‘Well, they’re not on my platform anymore.’ It really is what happens next.”

((NARRATOR))

And what happens next is pretty predictable, says Squire. Movement to alternative or “alt-tech” sites like Telegram surged in the wake of mainstream sites’ actions.

((Megan Squire, Professor of Computer Science, Elon University)) ((Mandatory Skype logo))

“A couple of the channels that I was watching were growing at 100 and 200 percent.”

((NARRATOR))

For the internet giants like Facebook, Google’s YouTube and Twitter, this should be their moment of reckoning, says Jesse Lehrich co-founder of nonprofit Accountable Tech.

((Jesse Lehrich, Co-founder, Accountable Tech)) ((Mandatory Skype logo))

“Their tools have been recruiters in many ways, for these extremist movements and so it's not enough to take action on individual pieces of content. … They have to grapple with the extent to which they've been a primary driving force of all of this.”

((NARRATOR))

As the U.S. continues to learn more what led to the chaos in the nation’s capital, questions remain about the future of speech online.

((Tina Trinh, VOA News, New York))

[[ GRETA ]]

Law enforcement officials …

around the country …

are on alert …

for any attempts …

to disrupt …

the peaceful transition …

of power …

that has marked …

every U.S. election.

For some perspective ...

I talked to historian …

Douglas Brinkley …

We discussed the attack …

On Capitol Hill …

And how the country …

Moves forward.

[[BRINKLEY INTVU]]


DB: American history has been long. We've had dark moments difficult moments before. This is nothing today like the civil war where our whole country lost eight hundred thousand people on the land of the United States. But it is an awful lot like the most tumultuous period of the nineteen sixties, perhaps 1968, When Martin Luther King was killed and Bobby Kennedy killed in the utter chaos at the Chicago Democratic Convention and folding into the following year with Kent State massacre. That would be the Nixon period it would be to me what this is most like. But what is different is we've never had a siege of the US capital We've never had somebody break in a mob and create mayhem like this. So that stands alone. And the fact that President Trump might be impeached twice not once like Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson will stand out in history.

GVS: Was the US government ever at risk of collapsing with this with these events?

DB: We were never going to collapse. United States has built very strong I mean we might be if you just think in terms of power and money and what it represents the United States is and isn’t a fig leaf that just falls off in and allows disarray to happen. So, we were OK, we're going to continue to be OK in the United States.

GVS: You talk about sort of the disruption in the Republican Party. Did they do things consistent with the Constitution and with statutes?

DB: I think things were consistent with the Constitution up to around the time Mitch McConnell called Joe Biden and said, you're the next president, congratulations. And Mitch McConnell did that after Trump did so many legal cases that he came up empty handed on. And I think that's the pivot point. I mean Trump had had the right to contest the election for a while, but once he failed in all the courts he continued the public theater particularly with platforms on social media and the like about it being stolen when our courts or judicial system said no the Supreme Court wouldn't even hear it because it seemed far-fetched to them, that was the pivot point to Trump, At that point if he would maybe continue to gripe, but didn't try to raise troops to protest Biden being president, he would have been a lot better off. His presidency deteriorated in early 2021. And by January six that's going to be the dark stain on Trump's legacy.

GVS: Can of president pardon himself?

DB: Never been tried before. It would be novel. Most constitutional lawyers feel that that he will fail in that and so it's a waste of time. But until it goes to the courts we don't know. That was why the Twenty Fifth Amendment was sort of an interesting moment where Mike Pence could have been both the twenty fifth with cabinet officers saying Trump should not be president anymore and then pardon Trump and then he would have had a full proof pardon for himself. By self-pardoning it's going to become a very fierce legal fight.

GVS: Unless of course there were a deal made between the two of them where President Trump resigned and turned the responsibilities over to Vice President Pence for a couple of days who could then of course, I assume pardon him.

DB: I thought that was what was going to happen. I thought after Georgia Donald Trump was going to give a speech and then. Say, go back to golfing. Say I'm leaving tomorrow and have Pence give him a pardon and say I'm the comeback kid twenty 2024. Look for me Donald Trump. Because then as ex-president he wouldn't have all of these legal issues swirling around him. Yes, he'd have the New York Southern District problems. Yes, he would have perhaps a legal case going on in Georgia over intimidation of the secretary of state. There are other lawsuits. But now he, if he doesn't pardon himself, he may have the power of the US federal government really going after him. And you're going to have banks calling in their loans on Donald Trump, and as I said social Media platforms taken away from him. He's going to be on an island of his own there at Mar a Lago in a few days.

GVS: Explain the Twenty Fifth Amendment.

DB: Twenty Fifth Amendment came out of nineteen sixty seven but it was when it was passed But Bobby Kennedy was one of the big progenitors of it and it was a fear of disarray if what happened in Dallas what would have happened if John F. Kennedy stayed alive but was not able to function as president. The whole chain of command got revisited in this formula, came up with the vice president and six cabinet members were able to say not fit for command then they can invoke the twenty fifth. It hasn't really worked, meaning we haven't been able to put the twenty fifth into serious action. People have used it though. I mean it's been used when you get a colonoscopy for a day it's use when Ronald Reagan had had a type of colon cancer operation and then it reverts back So we've used the twenty fifth before But in this case the twenty fifth was about sending Donald Trump off to Mara Largo and having Mike Pence be president for a few days. The twenty fifth in essence was used for Nixon and Gerald Ford, a deal was made at that point. So I mean itis a viable but Pence and Trump have been too close. One never imagined that Pence would want to go to so far and try to oust Trump after they've done that work together quite well for eight years.

GVS: You said that you've said that that President Trump, if he's impeached by Congress, will be the first president to be impeached twice. Is that right?

DB: That's right. I think the misunderstanding Greta, about impeachment is that people assume if you're impeached you leave office. And that's not the case because first you have to go through Congress. So Congress impeached Bill Clinton for Monica Lewinsky related factors and of dishonesty you had. Andrew Johnson was impeached by Congress, but they survived in the Senate. Getting two thirds of the US Senate to oust the person is a very high bar now. So they did what Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats are doing is saying it's such a moral outrage what happened at the siege of the capital the insurrection of Trump, that we're going to do an immediate vote And they because it's a majority Democratic House they will vote for impeachment And at that moment, anybody in the world could say Donald Trump's been impeached twice. Then it goes to a trial in the Senate and that two thirds is a high bar. However, Mitch McConnell, as we’re talking here, saying he thinks that what prompted is impeachable and if and so there's suddenly this specter that there could be a Senate trial before January 20th, we'll have to see.

GVS: Even if he's impeached, can he run again in 2024?

DB: Yes, if there's a Senate trial in which they find a way to punish him in a way that he can't run again by stripping him of the ability to do that, then then he wouldn't be able to.

GVS: Can Biden really move us forward out of this nightmare?

DB: I have a feeling once Biden and Harris are inaugurated on January 20th, you will see a kind of unity for a little while maybe one hundred days on a. covid-19 stimulus package and probably a well, a repackaging of the vaccines for the United States to continue with operation warp speed, maybe with a different name by Joe Biden, but covid is going to be first and foremost there needs to be unifying the country right now. Donald Trump as ex-president is going to face his own lawsuits. We'll have to see if he self-pardons himself or not. Things will unspool here in the next few days, but it was not a glorious end to Trump's one term presidency.

####

[GRETA]

As political unrest unfolded...

in the nation's capital last week...

leaders around the world reacted,

with America’s allies and adversaries...

weighing in on the violence.

VOA’s Henry Ridgwell...

tells us more from London.

[[RIDGWELLL PKG]]

((TV INTRO)) [[Many world leaders have expressed shock and dismay at the riots in Washington Wednesday that resulted in at least four deaths and dozens of arrests. Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump marched on Capitol Hill after Trump called for protests against the victory of his rival, Joe Biden, in November’s election. U.S. courts have repeatedly rejected Trump’s claim that the vote was rigged. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.]]

((NARRATOR))

European allies watched with dismay as the violence unfolded at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday.

((Emmanuel Macron, French President (in English) ))

“What happened today in Washington, D.C., is not America, definitely.”

((Angela Merkel, German Chancellor (in German) ))

“This democracy is stronger that the attackers and rioters.”

((NARRATOR))

On Twitter, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the violence “disgraceful.” His interior minister blamed President Donald Trump.

((Priti Patel, British Interior Minister))

“His comments directly led to the violence, and so far, he has failed to condemn that violence, and that is completely wrong.”

((NARRATOR))

NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted: “Shocking scenes in Washington, D.C. The outcome of this democratic election must be respected.”

A spokesman for the United Nations secretary general said, “it is important that political leaders impress on their followers the need to refrain from violence.”

Israel’s leader expressed support for his country’s chief ally.

((Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister (in English) ))

“American democracy has always inspired me, lawlessness and violence are the opposite of the values we know Americans and Israelis cherish.”

((NARRATOR))

Indian prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter, “The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests.”

Meanwhile U.S. rivals taunted Washington. In a televised speech, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said it showed “how fragile and vulnerable Western democracy is.”

In a statement Venezuela said the United States is “suffering the same thing that it has generated in other countries with its policies of aggression.”

China attempted to twist the narrative.

((Hua Chunying, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (in Mandarin) ))

“The mainstream media in the United States have unanimously condemned this as a violent incident, using words like thugs, extremists, villains and disgrace. However, what words did they use to describe the violent protesters in Hong Kong? They said it was a beautiful sight, and profiled violent protesters as democratic heroes, and said that the American people stand with them.”

((NARRATOR))

Moscow’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Dmitry Polyanskiy compared the violence to the 2014 revolution in Ukraine, writing on Twitter: “Quite Maidan-style pictures are coming from DC.”

U.S. allies share the pain of many Americans watching the violence at the heart of its democracy. Many foes are using the events as an opportunity to settle scores.

((Henry Ridgwell, for VOA News, London.)

[[GRETA]]

That’s all the time we have for now.

Thank you to my guests ...

biographer Douglas Brinkley..

and former Capitol Hill …

Police Chief ...

Terrance Gainer

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