US politics expert: Republicans may halt Trump's political activity

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Andreas Kaju Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The mob storming of the Capitol in Washington which on Wednesday, January 6, was somewhat reminiscent of Estonia's 2007 Bronze Night (Pronksiöö) experience, expert in US politics, Andreas Kaju told ERR Wednesday evening. At the same time, ultimate responsibility for reining in the sitting president may lie with his own party, Kaju said.

Kaju told ERR that several criminal offenses have been opened in the U.S. following the riots.

Kaju said that mob action has taken place in the history of the U.S. before. "Why the capital is where it is, is because, in 1783, 400 soldiers attacked the Congress (then generally based in Philadelphia, and at a time when New York was still occupied by British forces following the end of the Revolutionary War: Washington itself was founded in 1790 - ed.)," he said.

In Kaju's opinion, the authorities reacted differently, and more robustly, to the Black Lives Matter protests in summer.

"The government sent security forces without identification marks to some cities to disperse people and suppress them, but now, no such action was taken," Kaju said.

Kaju said that, however, there had not been sufficient police available to solve Wednesday's situation in Washington.

The plan arose to eliminate Trump from the position immediately

Kaju also said plans had been afoot to remove Trump, still the incumbent president, on the grounds of diminished responsibility, by members of his own party and administration.

"Some members of Trump's own administration gathered in the meeting room to discuss declaring Trump as incapacitated based on the Constitution's 25th paragraph," Kaju said.

He added that such an action, in cooperation with congress, would be possible, because Trump bears a political responsibility as POTUS.

Kaju said that Trump's words on Wednesday, where he appeared to incite crowds of supporters gathered in the U.S. capital to act, only made the situation worse. At the same time, he doesn't believe that a decision to remove Trump ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden later in the month will be made.

Kaju added that the situation for the Republican Party is generally even harder. The party has started to lose votes in their traditional winning areas, and has lost the State of Georgia, and with it, control of the Senate. This ultimately means that halting Trump's political activity in the future may be the Republicans' responsibility as much as anyone's, he said.

"Common sense would like to say that they are not in favor of such a behavior," Kaju said.

The April 2007 Bronze Soldier Night riots followed a protest over the relocation of a Soviet-era war memorial, and saw widespread looting across central Tallinn, with one death reported. Estonia also experienced a concurrent Denial of Service (DOS) attack originating in the Russian Federation.

Comparisons have also been drawn in the media between Wednesday's events and the 1991 storming of Toompea, now seat of the Riigikogu, at the time still home of the Estonian Supreme Soviet, by mass demonstrators and orchestrated by the Interfront pro-Soviet movement. That incident saw the Interfront supporters get trapped in the Toompea courtyard by large numbers of Estonians summonsed of the radio to the location by Edgar Savisaar. However, the crowd later made way for the original protestors to leave the area, and no violent incidents were recorded.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino, Andrew Whyte

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