LMU Constitutional Law Professor reacts to unrest at the Capitol, what could happen before Inauguration Day

LMU Interview
Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 10:26 AM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Just hours after protestors stormed the U.S. Capitol, and Electoral College votes were certified in favor of President-Elect Joe Biden, WVLT’s Harry Sullivan talked with Constitutional Law Professor Stewart Harris on the unrest in Washington D.C. as well as what we can expect with Inauguration Day looming on January 20th.

“I believe the last time the capitol was breached was when British red coats came in in 1814 and burned the place.” Said Harris when asked if we’ve seen anything like the storming of the Capitol before. “This is virtually unprecedented.”

President Trump released a statement in the early hours of Thursday morning, promising a peaceful transition of power. Numerous Democrats have now called for President Trump’s resignation, and reports have surfaced with Republicans looking for ways to evoke the 25th amendment.

“There are a number of people who question whether the President should be in office during the next two weeks.” Said Harris. “There may in fact be a move afoot to remove him pursuant to the 25th amendment or perhaps to impeach him for a second time.”

Harris shared these thoughts on Wednesday’s events, as well as what Americans can expect with the transition of power on January 20th.

“Yesterday was many things. It was a tragedy,” said Harris. “It was shocking and it does diminish us in the eyes of the rest of the world. I have always felt that the moment when one president gives up power to another president, especially when the incumbent was defeated in an election, it is one of the most poignant moments in all of American history. We all get a little misty-eyed when we hear the Star Spangled Banner, but I always got misty eyes during a peaceful transition of power occurs, because that’s the moment when we show the rest of the world who we are and what our spangled system of government is. Even though its painful for the loser, that’s what a democracy is. That is what a democratic republic is. Its a group of people who agree to stick together and be loyal, even when they lose. And if you have one person or one group of people who refuse that promise well then the entire system comes apart. So yes, yesterday was a pivotal moment in American history.”

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