(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Most Americans agree, January 6th, 2021 will forever be a grim day in U.S. history, but how the country handles the aftermath of the deadly riot is just as divided as America is.
Both sides of the political aisle pin some blame on President Trump for inciting violence during the Capitol's siege at the hands of a pro-Trump mob.
Missouri Senator Roy Blunt said in an interview with CBS' "Face the Nation," “I think the President’s decisions and his actions on that day and leading up to that day on this topic were clearly reckless. I said very early in the evening on Wednesday that this was a tragic day for the country and the President had involvement in that.”
Sen. Blunt publicly opposed the objection to the electoral college votes by his fellow Republican senators, including Missouri Senator Josh Hawley who is facing heat for his role in the riot.
Back in St. Joseph, Missouri Western State University political scientists agree with Sen. Blunt that President Trump had a hand in the domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol, “His own words spurred them to action. There are people who said, ‘We are here because the President said to come here,’ right? ‘We marched because the President said to march,’” said Dr. Ed Taylor, MWSU department chair of political science.
But with only days left in office, impeaching the President is where Americans have divided opinions.
Monday, House Democrats formally introduced an article of impeachment for the second time in President Trump's presidency after Republicans blocked efforts to invoke the 25th amendment.
Sen. Blunt said what's best for the country is for the President to carry out his remaining days in office and rather than focusing on impeachment, "we should be thinking more about the first day of the next presidency than the last day of (Trump’s) presidency.”
Dr. Taylor strongly disagrees. The MWSU political scientist said accountability is in order for last Wednesday's deadly riot for sake of American Democracy.
“I think it’s an incredibly important step. I think it’s an important step to demonstrate that a direct assault on democratic institutions is beyond the bounds of any elected officials,” said Dr. Taylor, “We had armed protesters enter the Capitol seeking to hang the vice president, seeking assaults against the speaker of the house, we had a capitol police officer beat to death with a fire extinguisher by people holding blue life matter flags… at what point do we say enough is enough?”
For Americans who want President Trump to face some responsibility over the siege, but worry there isn't enough time for impeachment- Dr. Taylor said there's plenty of time.
“Well, the Constitution doesn’t specify a timeline for impeachment. They’ll probably wait to send the articles of impeachment, if they pass, to the Senate because there’s no rush to get it done. What would happen if it went to the Senate and if there was a trial and the Senate were to convict, it would effectively prevent then former President Trump from holding office again,” said Dr. Taylor.
But Sen. Blunt said pushing for an impeachment with nealy one week left of President Trump's time in office is just playing politics. The Missouri senator said efforts to decertify the electoral college votes and impeaching President Trump are one in the same- they're a waste of time.
“There was no way that was going to happen. There’s no way we’re going to impeach the President. There’s not the time to do it,” said Sen. Blunt.
As of Monday, six deaths are linked to the Capitol riot. Two deaths include Capitol police officers, one dying by suicide Sunday.