1 week after the Jan. 6 riots: What’s next?

Library of Congress, photo courtesy of Pixy.org. 

 Kaitlin Lewis & Lauren Durham
News Editor  Arts & Entertainment Editor

Last week, the rest of the world watched as a group of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol to interrupt Congress’s confirmation of President-Elect Joe Biden’s win. Since the insurrection, lawmakers have struggled with how to move forward. 

Here’s a brief recap of the events that followed the insurrection of January 6.

House Democrats fight for second impeachment.

On Wednesday, Jan. 13, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote whether or not to pursue a second impeachment trial against President Trump. House Democrats believe that Trump encouraged the insurrection that took place at the U.S. Capitol. Republicans including Rep. Liz Cheney, Rep. Adam Kinsinger and Rep. Lisa Murkowski have expressed their frustrations with President Trump’s recent actions and support efforts to remove him from office. 

A second impeachment trial has the potential to complicate Biden’s first 100 days in office, but some lawmakers are not concerned. 

“You really do want to show that we are serious about accountability… The Senate can do two things at once,” Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown said in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. 

Enacting the 25th Amendment.

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, the House voted to formally call on Vice President Mike Pence and the Presidential Cabinet to enact the 25th Amendment. Doing so would deem President Trump “incapable of executing the duties of his office” and make Pence the acting president. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday evening, Pence rejected the vote, and wrote “I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment.”

FBI warns of additional threats

On Monday, Jan. 11, the FBI released a warning regarding far-right groups that plan to gather and target state capitals this upcoming weekend. There is a concern that the violence of Jan. 6 will continue through Jan. 20, the date of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Biden, VP-elect Harris and Speaker Pelosi all face potential threats.

The FBI stated, “Our focus is not on peaceful protestors, but on those threatening their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property.”

In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine responded to warnings by authorizing 580 Ohio National Guard members to active duty. Approximately 200 members will be sent to Washington, D.C. while the rest will report to the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. The Guard members will be active from Thursday, Jan. 14 to Jan. 21.

The Cincinnati Enquirer points out that the number of Ohio National Guard members requested for this upcoming weekend is less than half of the 1,200 members deployed to Columbus and Cleveland in the wake of George Floyd’s death this past summer. However, DeWine anticipates more preventative steps to be taken in the upcoming days.  

Trump loses social media access.

President Trump permanently lost his Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, on Friday, Jan. 8. With nearly 88 million followers, Twitter was arguably the President’s favorite form of communication. Accounts on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Reddit and Twitch have also been suspended. 

The popular right-wing app, Parler, was taken down from Apple, Amazon and Google stores at the beginning of this week in an attempt to further quiet the circulating violence and conspiracy theories that gave way to the insurrection at the Capitol. Officials worry that the false information on apps such as Parler will lead to further acts of hate. 

University responses.

President Spina

On Jan. 7, President Eric F. Spina released a statement condemning the violence and hatred that took place at the U.S. Capitol one week ago. 

Some members of the University of Dayton alumni family criticized Spina’s response to the recent events, noting that there was not a condemnation of poor behavior during the summer’s Black Lives Matter protests. 

UD College Democrats

After releasing a statement last Thursday, UD College Democrats President Lili Biswas gave her thoughts on the events of the past week. 

UD College Democrats support efforts that will hold President Trump accountable for the actions that took place. 

“The efforts to impeach a second time and/or remove President Trump by invoking the 25th Amendment is necessary to uphold the law and hold him accountable for instigating an attempted coup,” Biswas said.

“He bears responsibility because he has baselessly said there was voter fraud and has had the election stolen from him with no proof.”

Biswas and the rest of the UD College Democrats look forward to the beginning of the Biden Administration but understand that it will not be an easy road ahead. 

“As President Trump leaves office, we are left with a crippled economy, record numbers of COVID-19 cases, racial injustice, worsening climate change and are more deeply divided than ever. Joe Biden is who we need to address these issues and lead the country,” Biswas said. “Nevertheless, we will continue to push the President for change and hold him to a [higher] standard.”

UD College Republicans

On behalf of the group, UD College Republicans President Lauren Hassett commented on the Jan. 6 riots themselves. 

“The UDCRs support peaceful protests and the first amendment, but fully condemn the actions of those who attacked the Capitol last week,” Hassett said. “The violent actions of those who attacked our government are wholly unacceptable and un-American. Those who attacked the Capitol should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

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