Trump’s Final Days in Office Led to Nationwide Chaos

Senate race and final presidential results culminated in mayhem

2020 election comes to a chaotic climax at the US capitol.
Illustration by: April Kinney • The Sentry

On Jan. 6, the Capitol Building was breached for the first time since 1812. Photos spreading as chaotically as the morning itself revealed armed standoffs in the House chamber, vandalized offices, and confederate flags being held outside the Senate chamber.  

After lawmakers reconvened, Pence broke from Trump’s shadow, certifying Joe Biden as the next president early on the seventh. “To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today,” Pence said, “you did not win. Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the people’s house.” 

Mitt Romney was among the most fervent of the few Republicans to denounce Trump and all those who aided in his behavior. “We gather today due to a selfish man’s injured pride and the outrage of his supporters whom he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning,” he stated in a press release as the chamber reconvened following the insurrection; “Those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate, democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy.” 

While Trump refuses both to condemn their actions and take any responsibility, his words have long been the same since being asked whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power back before the election. “We’ll want to have—get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very—we’ll have a very peaceful . . . There won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation,” he said in a press conference last year. 

Many legislators have come out demanding that Pence and the Cabinet invoke the 25th amendment to effectively remove Trump from office, but with little traction displayed publicly from Pence or the Cabinet, the House moved very quickly to impeach Trump—again—making him the only president in US history to be impeached twice. He now leaves office with his lowest approval ratings ever, according to Pew Research Center. The Senate trial for his impeachment began on Jan. 25. With GOP leader Mitch McConnell saying conviction is “a vote of conscience,” although unlikely, if enough Republicans break vote to convict, Trump will be barred from ever holding federal office again.  

The November election results reflected some important activism in key swing states like Georgia—where 3.9 million people voted early, almost matching the total voter turnout from the state in the last election. The state hasn’t been blue since 1992 in Bill Clinton’s election, and the turnout held true in the Senate race as well with the elections of Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.   

With Georgia’s runoff results flipping the Senate, this will be the second time that all three legislative branches will have a Democratic majority since J.F.K. and L.B.J.’s terms in the ’60s, after Obama’s first two years in office between 2008 and 2010. This is a product of Georgia’s record voter turnout among predominantly black districts—according to CNN’s exit polls, where Ossoff’s support from Black voters grew from 87 percent (November general election) to 92 percent in the January runoff. 

 This Democratic majority will allow for the Biden administration to get its work done more efficiently, but whether it will spark further violence among conspiracists behind Trump remains ominously possible. 

This is a selection from the Jan. 27 issue. To view the full issue, visit:

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