Donald Trump had landed less than an hour ago in the Florida heat when, in windy, cold Washington DC, he officially ceased to be president at 11.48, when Joe Biden took office on Capitol Hill. Trump was the first president in almost 150 years not to see the transfer of power, choosing to leave the capital still ahead of U.S. destinations. “We’ll be back somehow,” he said at the farewell at Andrews Air Force Base, recalling that the past four years had been an honor and a privilege. But if your near future involves playing golf at the Mar-a-Lago club, it also implies a process of impeachment in the Senate, which could complicate his plans.
Trump’s last day at the White House began with the aftermath of the 70 pardons and 73 sentence commutations he had enacted the day before. Among the beneficiaries were the architect of his 2016 campaign, Steve Bannon, several former members of Congress and even rapper Lil Wayne. But already on his last trip as president on Air Force One, Trump issued yet another full pardon. The lucky one was his former lawyer Albert J. Pirro, ex-husband of Judge Jeanine Pirro, one of the president’s biggest defenders at Fox News, who served an 11-month prison sentence for fraud almost 20 years ago.
It would have been the last action of his presidency, which will be marked by the negative because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has already caused more than 400 thousand deaths in the USA. And for the violence that was experienced at the Capitol on January 6, when his supporters interrupted the joint session that made Biden’s victory official – a victory that Trump himself never acknowledged, despite maintaining the tradition, leaving a note to the successor on White House. The president was accused by the House of Representatives of inciting violence in a speech before the crowd, which is why he was the target of a historic second impeachment that will now have to run in the Senate.
But Trump did not mention any of this in the farewell, in front of a few hundred supporters, at Andrews airbase. He chose to focus his speech on what he said were his achievements, talking about the pandemic in the past to highlight vaccine development in record time and to insist again that before the covid-19 appeared, the US had the best economy ever – something that experts have already denied. And he wished the new administration “luck”, without mentioning Biden’s name, explaining that he had “laid the foundations” for him. “I hope they don’t raise taxes, but if they do, I warned you,” he said, promising to stay tuned.
Campaign-style Trump arrived on the Marine One helicopter while listening to the music Gloria, by Laura Branigan, and left the base aboard Air Force One to the sound of My Way, by Frank Sinatra. In between, the approximately 500 people who were present also heard Y.M.C.A dos Village People, Don”t Stop Believin” of the Journey, in addition to a salvo of 21 cannons. The president was greeted with shouts of “We love you“and” Thanks “, having said that” it was an honor and a privilege “to occupy the position over” four incredible years “.
In the speech, he spared no praise for the family, saying that they could have chosen an easier life and that “no one has any idea” of how much they worked. “We left everything on the pitch,” he said, using a sporty expression. He especially thanked the first lady, Melania Trump, saying that she is “very popular with people” – in fact, she is the most unpopular ever, with 42% favorable opinions (still higher than her husband, whose approval is only 34%) and 47% unfavorable. And he passed the microphone to her for a moment. Melania said it was an honor to be first lady and that everyone will stay in their prayers.
In the near future it is not difficult to see what Trump, now a former president, will do: play golf. If during the four years he spent at the White House he played golf more than 300 times, now that he will be in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, next to two of his courses, it is safe to say that he will be a regular presence in the green. Then, like other ex-presidents, you can write your memoirs or get back to business.
But in the short term, Trump will have to face the first challenge: impeachment. The Senate now has a Democratic majority, because Vice President Kamala Harris has the casting vote, but for the impeachment process to pass – and it is not known when it will begin to be discussed – it has to be approved by two-thirds of the senators (or is 67). Many Republicans have already started to abandon Trump and openly criticize him for the intervention that will have encouraged violence, but from there until they vote in favor of impeachment it still has a long way to go.
If he ends up being ousted, Trump may see the senators also decide that he will no longer be able to run for public office – permanently removing him from the 2024 presidential elections. But the four years he spent at the White House have guaranteed him a support base that he can mobilize for another candidacy – that of daughter Ivanka Trump is one of the most talked about. It is enough that, after having lost your megaphone – after being removed from Twitter and other social networks -, I find a new platform to relate directly with supporters. It remains to be seen whether the events of January 6 will not spoil the plans he may have for creating an online television channel.
And then there are the lawsuits that you may have to face in the courts: you could be charged, for example, because of the phone call in which you pressured the Georgian Secretary of State to get votes to guarantee your victory.
Ups and downs of the presidency
Supreme Trump appointed three Supreme Court judges – Neil Gorsuch (2017), Brett Kavanaugh (2018) and Amy Coney Barrett (2020). The court will hang for years on the conservative side.
economy Trump made the biggest tax cuts in 31 years and unemployment was the lowest in 50 years. But then the pandemic came, which changed everything. Trump had a booming economy to be re-elected.
Impeachment Trump will always be the president who, in four years, has been the target of two impeachment processes – one because of alleged abuse of power in pressures on Ukraine and the other for “inciting insurrection” in the invasion of the Capitol.
Immigration Elected with the promise to build a wall with Mexico, Trump had zero tolerance for immigrants. They marked the images of children in cages after being separated from the family at the border.
Weapons The massacre of 17 people in Parkland High School in February 2018 mobilized thousands of young people on the topic of gun control and against Trump.
Racism George Floyd’s death during his detention in May 2020 sparked a wave of protests and violence nationwide. Trump only under pressure condemned supremacist groups.
Russia Trump complained about Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s “witch hunt”, who investigated the alleged collusion with Russia in the 2016 presidential election.
Diplomacy Trump tore up the nuclear deal with Iran – as well as the Paris Climate deal – and launched the trade war with China. He also shook hands with Kim Jong-un and helped Israel to re-establish relations with several Arab countries.