President Trump exits stage right this week, dethroned, denounced and, most painful to him perhaps, de-platformed.
But his unfinished business will outlast his physical presence, in the boot-falls of National Guard troops, the drumbeat of dark coronavirus news and in a proliferation of questions about his second impeachment and how his absence will change the power dynamics in the newly Democratic-controlled Washington.
As inauguration week dawned, one set of worries dissipated, while others intensified: The feared mobs engulfing state capitals on Sunday did not materialize.
But anxieties flared dramatically at around 10:15 a.m. Eastern on Monday when a lockdown order was issued after a small fire broke out at a homeless encampment near the Capitol grounds, illustrating both the long-term societal problems, and short-term logistical challenges, faced by the incoming administration.
Despite the presence of thousands of National Guard troops in Washington, there was a jolt of panic, with cellphone footage showing workers evacuating the site of a run-through of Inauguration Day plans on the side of the Capitol, as brown smoke rose into blue sky beyond the dome.
Lawmakers are set to return to a militarized Capitol this week, with a number of serious questions remaining about the course of Mr. Trump’s second impeachment trial, and the future of a new Democratic-controlled Senate that will be quickly tested during confirmation hearings for five of Mr. Biden’s cabinet appointees.
For several lawmakers, it will be their first trip back to Washington since the joint session on Jan. 6 where they were temporarily forced to flee the chambers as a mob stormed the Capitol.
It remains unclear when Speaker Nancy Pelosi will formally send to the Senate the article of impeachment charging President Trump with “incitement of insurrection.” Once the House sends the article to the Senate, the chamber has to immediately move to begin the trial.
Three new Democratic senators — Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, the two newly elected senators from Georgia, and Alex Padilla, California’s secretary of state who set to replace Vice President-elect Kamala Harris — could be sworn in as early as this week, cementing a majority enabled by Ms. Harris’ tiebreaking vote.
On Sunday, Representative Jamie Raskin, the Maryland Democrat who will lead the prosecution of Mr. Trump in the Senate trial, and Representative Joaquin Castro, Democrat of Texas, declined to offer details about when the impeachment article against Mr. Trump would be brought to the Senate or whether Democrats would push to call witnesses in the trial.
Mr. Biden has said he hopes the Senate can pursue a dual walk-and-chew-gum strategy that would allow the…
Go to the news source: Joe Biden News: Live Updates on Inauguration Day