By Wayne Dawkins
“January 6  was practice,” announced the latest cover of The Atlantic Monthly magazine.
We’ve been warned. Trump true believers, and the poorly educated suckers the twice-impeached 45th president loves, could pull this stunt again this week, if we are asleep.
Unconvinced? Here I offer a tick tock, not the social media kind, of the ex-POTUS who refuses to take a hint and leave. These are clues to Donald J. Trump’s future behavior:
Last week of December 2020: Trump went on a rant and blamed the FBI, Department of Justice and Supreme Court for election results that proved he lost. Also that week, Trump signed a $900 billion covid-19 relief stimulus after holding the bill hostage for a week. A Dec. 29 government shutdown was averted.
On the last day of 2020, there was a record 3,700 daily COVID-19 deaths, 345,000 for the year and 400,000-plus projected by President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. There were initial fears that many people would refuse vaccines, then alarms that the eager ones could not get shots fast enough.
On Jan. 1-2, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence rebuffed a Team Trump effort to overturn acceptance of the Biden Electoral College vote. The Senate did override No. 45 on a defense bill, which included renaming of bases named after Confederate officers.
Siege of D.C.: The Capitol was breached Jan. 6 by thousands of Trump supporters during validation of the historic Joe Biden-Kamala Harris election. Capitol cops drew guns inside the chamber. Four people died, including a woman. Trump incited the violent mob at a street rally, then from the comfort of the White House remained silent for hours as rioters and police engaged in Medieval-like combat. Pundits on cable TV repeatedly invoked the 25th Amendment . At 8 p.m. Congress resumed validating the election and finished overnight.
Jan. 11-15, there was continuous 25th Amendment or impeachment talk. Eugene Goodman emerged as the heroic Black D.C. Capitol cop who guided elected officials to safety and with a baton steered the marauders away from their targets. Pipe bombs and zip ties were among the insurrectionist tools.
Trump spoke after a week of silence but offered no remorse. Rep. Liz Cheney, and Sen. Mitch McConnell, both Republicans favored or leaned toward impeachment. Trump was impeached, again, the following week with 10 Republicans joining Democrats.
On Jan. 13, there were 4,300 daily COVID-19 deaths.
Did some members of Congress collaborate with domestic terrorists, colleagues wondered?
On Jan. 25, House managers walked the article of impeachment to Senate.
February 2021: “We’ve lost the line,” words from the Senate impeachment trial of Trump. New video revealed worse violence at the Capitol than previously known and heroism by many Capitol police. Reluctant GOP senators appeared to loosen their stance. There was a 57-43 vote to convict Trump, however the president was acquitted because the count fell short of 67 senate votes needed to convict. GOP leader McConnell condemned Trump but voted against impeachment anyway.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, and the NAACP filed a suit against Trump for obstruction and conspiracy .
With Biden officially on the job for a month, the daily covid-19 death cases rate was cut in half. More people were getting vaccinated. Yet the total death toll since January 2020 was 500,000.
March, April, May and June: Trump mostly faded from the news because it’s a big America and world out there and there was other meaningful stuff to cover.
Then the Donald returned in July: The Trump organization and its chief financial officer was indicted in New York State. There was strong evidence of $1.5 million in tax avoidance. Two sets of books were discovered. Would the old CFO flip to avoid lengthy jail time?
Also that month, there were several new books about Trump’s final days: Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley feared a coup attempt and prepared for mass resignations if, in case, Trump tried a takeover. Biden in a Philadelphia speech accused the GOP of Jim Crow-like, un-American behavior. The Atlantic Monthly said Biden was appealing to a different America.
Furthermore, the Jan. 6 insurrection inquiry began: Eight Democrats, two Republicans on the committee. Four police testify on the first day. Liz Cheney: “We need a tick tock of everything that occurred in the White House that day.” GOP leaders Kevin McCarthy and McConnell said they did not watch because of meetings.
During these final days and weeks of 2021 Trump and his surrogates have been suing everyone, hoping to prevent the release of documents that could reveal what Trump was doing when the Capitol was trashed and legislators donning gas masks were cowering under their desks. Team Trump says those documents are privileged. Biden and the Justice Department say those papers are The People’s business.
Happy New Year.
But stay alert.
The writer is a professor of professional practice at Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication.
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