19th January 2021

On another busy Zoom show to start the beginning of 2021 the discussion revolved around the legal implications of the riot on Capitol Hill on the 6th of January when Donald Trump supporters attempted to stop the count of the electoral college vote and the ratification of President Elect Biden by invading Capitol buildings, the actions being widely condemned both nationally and internationally. Our contributor was of the view that the sanctions that are currently available, being the invoking of the 25th amendment of the Constitution to remove President Trump from office and/or impeachment would not likely come to pass due to the practical time constraints. He thought of the 2 proposed sanctions that the latter was more likely if the republicans wanted to distance themselves from President Trump. Seamus Gunn was more interested in the possible criminal sanctions that could follow after the 20th of January when President Trump leaves office, highlighting that incitement to riot is illegal under US federal law and conviction on such a felony could attract a heavy custodial sentence, in some states 10 years. He also reminded Greg Hughes that there are other investigations which have been ongoing for a considerable number of years, some of which were being addressed by the District Attorney of Manhattan and that he thought that President Trump’s latest statement where he mentioned reconciliation and an orderly and seamless hand over of power, that this was more as a result of an apprehension on his part as to what would follow after he left office by way of a criminal investigation. Greg Hughes put forward the proposition that President Trump may intend to start a new party to rival the Democrats and the Republicans. Seamus Gunn thought this highly unlikely as his support base would be critically eroded by his actions of late and that the vast majority of Republicans would not go with him. He was also of the view that this could be the beginning of the end of Donald Trump’s future political ambitions. He expects more to follow in the coming days and weeks, that may be more interesting after President Biden has been inaugurated – “May you live in interesting times”.

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