Impeachment for Donald Trump looms as America's divisions deepen

Credit: AP

After the chaos of Wednesday's assault on Congress, Washington is braced for the political retribution.

This week President Donald Trump will be impeached, the first time in American history that anyone has endured the ignominy not once, but twice.

This city is still badly shaken by events and the President is cutting a lonely and isolated figure .

He has been banished by Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The President of the United States has lost his voice, an astonishing move by Big Tech against the White House. 

It is now igniting a culture war over free speech and social media platforms.

Conservative political figures are infuriated, accusing the incoming Biden Administration of an assault of the basic values of America.

Within days, Democrats will decide on the exact Articles of Impeachment.  It is likely that Donald Trump will be charged with sedition and incitement to violence.

Twitter moved to suspend the Trump account indefinitely. Credit: AP

That will unfold in the House of Representatives - with members of Congress still outraged by the assault on their Chamber and mourning the loss of a Capitol Hill police officer.

But it remains unclear when the Senate will take up a trial of Donald Trump.  

Some Democrats want to sit in judgement immediately after the Inauguration. They feel it will send a powerful message to future Presidents.

But others believe that putting the President on political trial would be handing him a victory, maintaining his relevance after he has left office.  

President-elect Joe Biden has welcomed Donald Trump’s decision not to attend his inauguration. Credit: AP

There is also the fear that it would be a giant distraction for Joe Biden, completely overshadowing his first 100 days.

So Democratic leaders in the House and Senate need to resolve this quickly so America has a sense of political direction.

Right now, the mood is febrile.  

Few people think the danger of political violence is diminishing. There is concern that extremists will target the Inauguration on the 20th.

Capitol Police with guns drawn stand near a barricaded door as lawmakers are evacuated. Credit: AP

We have just over a week before Joe Biden is sworn in, and yet the fate of Donald Trump remains the dominant debate.

For four years, he has torn apart America's political norms.  

But any thought that his departure would be a unifying moment has been lost. Even the value of his imminent impeachment is triggering a ferocious debate.