WASHINGTON — A seven foot barrier described as an “unscalable fence” surrounded the U.S. Capitol Thursday evening.
The wall will be in place for at least 30 days, and was erected as lawmakers continued to wonder how hundreds of President Trump supporters were allowed to storm the Capitol, break windows, ransack offices and wreak havoc through the halls of Congress.
“I don’t think [President Trump] should leave office without having an indelible, historic scar that is administered to him by the United States Congress,” Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey said.
Markey is joining a list of Democrats—and even some Republicans—who want President Trump removed from office before President-Elect Joe Biden is sworn-in on Jan. 20.
“I believe that we have to institute impeachment proceedings immediately so that history will record that Donald Trump did not escape without the Congress repudiating all of his actions in instigating this attack on the Capitol,” Markey said.
Markey said there is enough time to vote on an article of impeachment in the House of Representatives, despite only 12 days left in the President Trump’s term.
“Oh, there is enough time, without question,” Markey said. “It’s a pretty simple…impeachment article that can be constructed and we can begin the hearings and have the vote on impeachment and send it over to the Senate.”
In order to remove the President, two-thirds of the Senate would have to vote to convict, something extremely unlikely given the Democrats’ slim majority.
Looking forward, Markey said there’s obvious security concerns about what could happen later this month, when thousands descend upon Washington to watch Biden be sworn into office.
“Security has to be dramatically ramped up after yesterday.” Markey said. “[The inauguration] must take place. We must demonstrate that we can have a constitutional inauguration of Joe Biden, and that it will happen uninterrupted. But we’re going to have dramatically heightened security.”
“Well, it’s obviously going to have intense security,” Massachusetts Representative Seth Moulton said.
Moulton blasted U.S. Capitol Police Thursday for its failure to protect the Capitol.
“What was amazing about being in Washington today was seeing all these high barriers being put up around the United States Capitol. Of course they’re a day late and a dollar short, but my understanding is those will remain in place for the Inauguration,” Moulton said.
But it may take more than walls to make lawmakers and the general public feel safe.
“It’s not just about high barriers,” Moulton said. “It’s not just about keeping people away. If you do security well, you allow peaceful people to be there while ensuring you don’t have violence.
“There are still too many people out in the country who are acolytes of Donald Trump, racists, anarchists, Confederacy supporters who could still try to plan real and lasting damage to our nation,” Markey said.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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