Donald Trump, the outgoing President of the USA, will face impeachment for the second time due to his involvement in the violence at the US Capitol on January 6. He was also permanently suspended from Twitter on January 8.
On January 6, violence broke out at the US Capitol where one person was fatally shot while three more succumbed to their injuries. The Congress was scheduled to count electoral votes and officially declare the winner of the presidential election the same day.
Trump had addressed a “Save America March” rally after the historic twin victory of the Democrats in Georgia. Claiming that a “fraudulent election” was held, he urged the crowd to walk down to the Capitol and “try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country”. Soon after, demonstrators broke into the building, where Senators and Congressmen and women were debating.
Trump faces impeachment
US Democrats have planned to introduce an article of impeachment against Trump on January 11 for his role in the attack on the Capitol. Addressing the press, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would move forward with impeachment if Trump did not resign immediately.
According to Twitter, the decision to permanently suspend Trump’s account was taken after a close review of the recent tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account. Trump, who was initially suspended for 12 hours from Twitter on January 6, for calling those who attacked the Capitol ‘patriots’, was allowed access on January 8. Once allowed access, Trump posted two tweets following which Twitter permanently banned him.
In one of his tweets, Trump 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!!!”
Trump also announced in another tweet that he will not be attending the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20.
After he was banned, Trump tried tweeting from the official presidential handle @potus and accused Twitter that it has gone further in banning free speech by coordinating with the Democrats. Twitter quickly deleted the tweets.
Soon, Trump tried to tweet from @TeamTrump handle. However, Twitter suspended the account citing that the use of another account to try to evade a suspension is against their rules.
What else did Twitter do:
Earlier on January 8, Twitter had permanently banned two Trump loyalists- the former national security adviser Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell, and Rush Limbaugh, a Right-wing radio host.
Citing posts that incited violence, Google also suspended Parler, an American microblogging and social networking service, that was predominantly used by Trump supporters.
In a blog post, Twitter explained its actions and wrote that the public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. “However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules entirely and cannot use Twitter to incite violence, among other things,” it added.
After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.https://t.co/CBpE1I6j8Y
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 8, 2021
How have people reacted
Many have been requesting Twitter for the ban of Trump on the social media platform for years. Maggie Haberman, the White House correspondent for The New York Times, wondered why the ban took so long.
Twitter did not ban Trump after the “looting/shooting” tweet, or many others. 12 days left of the presidency.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 8, 2021
Some took this chance to make some memes and jokes.
Hello I am brand new to Twitter, what are you guys up to
— John Barron (@barronjohn1946) January 9, 2021
Trump getting on twitter using Melania’s account pic.twitter.com/GpCd41sG39
— Melissa (@mamamamonsta) January 9, 2021
Trump trying to tweet is the hardest he’s worked in four years
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) January 9, 2021
— Abhinav (@thevellamemer) January 9, 2021
Reacting to Trump’s announcement about not attending the inauguration ceremony, Biden called it a good thing and said, “One of the few things he and I have ever agreed on.” Biden also stated that the impeachment was for the Congress to decide but he had always felt, “for a long time President Trump was not fit to hold the job”.