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Trump’s presidency tests the Constitution as deadly riot tests political patience

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images) (2021 Getty Images)

Pro-Trump supporters held a “Save America” rally on Jan. 6. On that day, both houses of Congress were convening to count the electoral college ballots, which would confirm the election of Joe Biden as the next President of the United States.

The rally escalated when thousands of pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol,resulting in the deaths of five people, including one Capitol Hill Police Officer.

It also set off calls for President Trump to resign or be impeached.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Protesters supporting U.S. President Donald Trump break into the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building during demonstrations in the nation's capital. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) (2021 Getty Images)

Comments made at the rally

“You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength. You have to be strong,” said President Donald Trump. ”We’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.“

He also said: ”We’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”

“Today is the day American Patriots start taking down names and kicking ***!” said U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL).

”If we’re wrong we’ll be made fools of. But if we’re right a lot of them will go to jail. Let’s have trial by combat,” said Rudy Giuliani, the president’s attorney.

Impeachment? 25th Amendment? Any Course of action?

Paul Brace, Ph.D. is the Chair of Legal Studies in Political Science at Rice University, is a guest on this week’s Houston Newsmakers. He says the calls for impeachment are understandable but not the best course of action.

“It seems there is a consensus, broad-based consensus that what President Trump did was wrong,” he said. “But still we have a commitment to norms of due-process and I don’t think you can maintain that commitment in seven or eight days.”

See more of his comments on this week’s program and on Newsmakers EXTRA.

How will history view the Trump presidency?

Brandon Rottinghaus, Ph.D., a political science professor at the University of Houston whose specialty is presidential politics, says Trump has been a “norm busting President,” who may have brought about the death of political scandal.

“He got 75 million votes despite the fact that there are dozens and dozens of scandals,” he said. “I’ve got books on scandals in my office to look at the most scandalized presidents and Donald Trump blows them all out of the water.”

What is the future of the GOP?

In four years the Republican party has lost the House of Representatives, the White House and now with a 50-50 tie, Vice President Harris will give Democrats control of the U.S. Senate. The Trump impact has often been incendiary, but the bottom line is now the loss of power at the top.

Former Harris County Judge Ed Emmett says the Texas Republican Party can stay in control with strong local candidates who have strong messages. As for the Trump influence?

“Who knows what Donald Trump is going to do,” he said. “I will say rather bluntly if Donald Trump remains the face of the Republican Party in Texas, Texas will go Democrat.”

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