– First president twice impeached
– Social media silences
– Companies cut ties with Trump’s businesses
As we went to press, all indications were that President Donald Trump was making history as the first president in the United States to be impeached twice during his term of office. House Democrats introduced an article of impeachment against President Trump on Monday, as lawmakers intensified calls to remove the president soon before the end of his term after he encouraged a mob that later stormed the Capitol in an effort to disrupt the certification of his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
More than 150 House Democrats, well over half of the caucus signed on to the article of impeachment written by Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California and Jamie Raskin of Maryland that focuses on the breach of the Capitol complex and accuses the president of inciting an insurrection. If passed, it would make Mr. Trump the first president in the nation’s history to be impeached twice.
“This conduct is so grave and this president presents such a clear and present danger to our democracy, I don’t think you can simply say let’s just wait it out” until Mr. Trump leaves office, said Mr. Cicilline in an interview. Mr. Biden’s inauguration is Jan. 20.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Friday the House would move to impeachment if Mr. Trump doesn’t leave office imminently, though she hasn’t specifically backed the article that lawmakers plan to introduce.
Mrs. Pelosi also said on Friday she spoke with the Joint Chiefs chairman, Army Gen. Mark Milley, “to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.”
“I was assured that there are safeguards in place,” Mrs. Pelosi said on a private phone call among House Democrats, calling the president unhinged, according to a person on the call.
Trump is no longer running the country.
Impeachment is highly likely to be a symbolic action.
McConnell will delay this long enough so that Trump will already be gone. He will not want an official vote so that Senators will have to take a stand.
Trump Crossed a Constitutional Line and Should Resign
Days ago the WSJ commented Trump Crossed a Constitutional Line and Should Resign
Willing to Take a Stand
• Sen. Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) said he would consider impeachment.
• Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski became the first Republican senator to call for Mr. Trump to resign.
• Senator Mitt Romney “stand outs”
Murkowski says I Want Him Out.
“I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” Murkowski told the Anchorage Daily News.
Murkowski told the newspaper that if the GOP doesn’t cut ties with Trump, she might leave the party. “If the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me,” she said.
Social media silences Trump
Facebook and Twitter have banned US president Donald Trump from posting on their platforms, following a riot on Capitol Hill that resulted in five deaths and saw Trump supporters storm Senate chambers and trash the offices of elected representatives.
The riot – held on the day when the US Congress was scheduled to certify the electoral college results – began with a Trump rally (promoted by him on social media) in which the outgoing president continued to wrongfully claim the US election result was fraudulent and called on his supporters to march on Capitol Hill.
Since losing the general election in November, Trump has repeatedly used his social media pages to say the result was invalid despite a growing number of court cases and evidence to the contrary.
The idea of a false result or ‘stolen’ election spread online and led to last Thursday’s events in which rioters brandishing Trump flags breached the home of the US government.
And it wasn’t just President Trump who was in essence silenced, as over the weekend, Amazon shut down the web servers to Parler, the Twitter alternative that had attracted a large conservative following.
On Monday, it was reported that Parler has sued Amazon Web Services and in a statement the company claimed, “AWS’s decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently motivated by political animus. AWS is violating Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act in combination with Defendant Twitter. AWS is also breaching it[s] contract with Parler, which requires AWS to provide Parler with a thirty-day notice before terminating service, rather than the less than thirty-hour notice AWS actually provided. Finally, AWS is committing intentional interference with prospective economic advantage given the millions of users expected to sign up in the near future. “While it is unclear what will happen next, it seems that at this point President Trump and his supporters have largely been silenced.
Twitter’s suspension of Trump, and the shuttering of Parler are just the latest issues that highlight the very deep divide plaguing our country and it is unlikely to change soon.”Internet censorship is an incredibly divisive topic right now,” said Claire Cole, creative partner at Gamblers Pick, which recently conducted a study that found that a significant number of Americans felt that social media companies may have a moral obligation to censor content.”Our study found that more than one in four people believe there should be more censorship on the Internet, while nearly one in three believe there should be less censorship,” added Cole. “But despite varying opinions, a majority of people are in agreement that social media platforms should have the right to censor content within their platform(s).”
At issue is what type of content is being discussed, as posts encouraging or inciting violence was the second biggest concern among respondents, with 60% believing it should be censored from the Internet.
“Similarly, 59% of people believe certain content should be banned in order to stop the spread of misinformation,” added Cole.
One significant issue is that social media is still very much an evolving platform. Twitter began really as a tool that allowed those in social circles to essentially “shout out” to one another, but it has increasingly become a broadcast platform to reach the masses.
In the case of President Trump it has been used at times as his primary way to reach his supporters. While there is no denying that the President has posted information that is far from truthful, the issue is whether that actually warrants his being silenced.
“The original Internet was based on the premise that, if you don’t like, don’t look,” explained technology industry consultant Lon Safko, author of The Social Media Bible. “For the 25 years the Internet has been available, all us early adopters to the Internet have always been chocked and pleased. That for one-quarter of a century, our government has not got involved, hasn’t interfered with, and hasn’t imposed regulations on the Internet. The only time we saw our government make a historical intervention was charging tax on Internet purchases. Few remember when anything you purchased on the Internet did not include state sales tax.”
Silencing The Government
As most experts agree, this isn’t exactly a censorship issue because the government isn’t trying to silence a news organization or otherwise stifle any First Amendment rights, but it could be argued that this is the first time the government has been essentially silenced by the media.
“(The social media platforms) have overwhelmingly censored Trump and his administration,” added Safko. “Any form of censorship, any form, is unacceptable. Social platform such as Facebook, whose primary business is open communication between its over 2.7 billion members, have a moral and legal responsibility to allow those conversations to transpire, organically. All conversations, all sides of that conversation. And, if the viewer disagrees or is offended by that conversation, then it is their right to simply close the window and walk away.”
What is remarkable added Safko is that this has been widely supported – whereas if the government (on either side of the aisle) to shut down such forms of communication it would be a major issue.
“For Facebook, Google, Apple, Twitter and others to deliberately censor, manipulate, and influence an entire U.S. Election to attain their own personal political objectives is not only criminal, but a form of treason. It is clearly stated in the U.S. Constitution. They should be held accountable,” he added.
“Once again, as a purveyor of information that reaches billions of people on a global scale, those social platforms have a moral and legal responsibility to deliver that information clearly, organically, and without political censorship,” noted Safko. “Whatever administration is inaugurated on January 20th, this must become a top national priority. If it doesn’t become a priority, then we the people must demand the answer as to why that administration is choosing to ignore treason within our borders.”
Companies cut ties with Trump’s businesses
Following the deadly pro-Trump riot in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, a host of companies have announced plans to stop political giving, with some targeting the Republican members of Congress specifically and others suspending political contributions altogether.
Meanwhile, President Trump himself has remained defiant, falsely telling reporters Tuesday that his speech last week, which helped incite violence that led to 5 deaths, had been deemed “totally appropriate.”
But a few companies with direct relationships to Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, and his campaign have also acted, exposing an additional point of leverage that, like the permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump Twitter handle, will continue to impact him personally long after he leaves office.
The Trump Organization had already been facing financial headwinds this year stemming from the president’s conduct and coronavirus restrictions, but the actions in the past week have been at a larger scale than anything seen before
Zach Everson runs the website 1100pennsylvania.com (the address of the president’s Washington, D.C., hotel) and chronicles his personal business dealings closely.
These businesses had plenty of opportunities to cut ties with Trump over the last four years, but “it wasn’t until this week that the math, I guess, changed for those groups and they realized it would just be better to cut him loose,” said Everson.
Hitting Trump’s pocketbook
In perhaps the most significant move, Deutsche Bank (DB) will cease doing new business with Donald Trump or his companies, according to a New York Times report. The multinational bank with headquarters in New York has long been a key Trump ally, helping him finance his business for decades.
Deutsche Bank, which has been called “Trump’s bank,” has been the subject of subpoenas by New York prosecutors, and has been been itching to distance itself from Trump. The violence in D.C. last week – and Trump’s involvement in it – appears to have been the last straw.