Can Trump survive the final 12 days? Eviction or impeachment may await

The National Guard stand behind newly placed fencing around the Capitol grounds the day after violent protesters stormed the US Congress. Credit: AP

The Trump Administration is falling apart in the most dramatic of circumstances before our eyes. The President is not just defeated, he is dangerously isolated, and there is an active debate about whether it is safe for America to allow him to remain in the White House for even the twelve more days.

Democrats are pleading with Vice President Mike Pence to exercise his most radical power - the constitutional rapier that is the 25th Amendment. That would see Pence, with the agreement of the majority of the Cabinet, forcing Trump's temporary removal from office.

At the same time, the first wave of resignations is underway from within the White House.

His Education and Transportation Secretaries have written devastating letters on their way out of the door, declaring that the President's actions on Wednesday in inciting the mob to storm Congress were unconscionable.

  • Watch Donald Trump's full video committing to 'orderly' transition of power

If Pence refuses to act, critics are vowing to impeach Donald Trump, for the second time. One liberal Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, is saying that Congress will try and act today. That illustrates the degree of urgency about America's predicament.

And then there is the pincer movement on the White House from Big Tech. Facebook and Instagram have closed down Trump's accounts until he has left office peacefully.

Trump's response overnight was spectacularly too late to save the smouldering ruins of his White House. He issued a video statement saying he was outraged "by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem." There was no obvious sign of irony, even if he was the man who helped incite the storming of Congress with his wild rhetoric.

The President did acknowledge defeat for the first time, telling Americans "a new Administration will be inaugurated on January 20th."

The damage to America's reputation is clear to see on Capitol Hill. Congress is now no longer the People's House. It is a fortress, surrounded by a high steel fence. The police chief and the Sergeant-at-Arms have been forced to quit after the security fiasco of Wednesday.

Yesterday, I spent some time with a newly elected Congresswoman from South Carolina, Nancy Mace. This week was meant to be the proudest of her life, a celebration of her political success.

Instead, she told me that she spent Wednesday in tears, huddled in a safe room for hours, and asking herself what has happened to American democracy. She is a Republican, a witness to Trump's trail of destruction that has left her party in tatters.

Trump is now limping towards the finish line. He may not get there.