The Three I’s of January 2021: Insurrection, Impeachment, and Inauguration

Rose McCaffrey

Just when everyone thought 2021 couldn’t get crazier than 2020, it did. The first three Wednesdays of the month of January went like this: January 6 saw the Insurrection at the Capitol, where a mob of Trump supporters swarmed the building to “stop the steal”; January 13 saw the second Impeachment of Donald J. Trump; and January 20 saw the Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden and Kamala D. Harris.

January 6 started as a normal day in Washington D.C. Congress was called to confirm the Electoral College results. Donald Trump believed that the election was stolen from him and held a rally in contradiction to the count.

During this rally, Donald Trump, his children, and his staffers, like Rudy Giuliani, told the people in the crowd to storm the Capitol in order to “stop the steal.” Five people died as a result of this Insurrection.

The former president’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, used the phrase, “trial by combat” prior to the deadly attacks on the United States Capitol.

“I was in awe,” reported Michael Carlin, a junior majoring in human biology. “I could not believe it was happening.”

He added that he was surprised and never would have believed something like this could happen in the United States.

“Everyone who had attempted to raid the Capitol building–no matter who you are or what role you played–you should be charged in some way,” Carlin stated.

Just one week later, the House of Representatives drafted Articles of Impeachment because of the Insurrection on the Capitol. This is the second Impeachment brought forth on the former President. It is an historic event because this is the first time a president has been impeached twice.

Senior, Mariah Mauke, a political science major, commented on the Impeachment proceedings. “Initially, I found it kind of funny,” Mauke said. “But then a deeper realization set in of just how insane it was that we had such a terrible leader that he had to be the first to ever be impeached twice.”

She added, “There’s really a point here, that he got impeached twice. It’s just the fact that no president in history has committed offenses to get to that second impeachment and Trump did.”

Mauke also mentioned a fun fact about the Articles of Impeachment: “They spelled ‘United’ wrong. They said ‘the Unites States.’”

The following Wednesday, January 20, just one week after the second articles of impeachment were submitted, the country welcomed a new President and Vice President.

This Inauguration was extremely historic. There was a very small crowd in attendance witnessing Joseph R. Biden and Kamala D. Harris take their oaths of office.

It was also historic as Kamala D. Harris was sworn into office as the first-ever woman of South-Asian and Black descent. This was a win for women and for people of color.

“I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I am not the biggest fan of Biden or Harris,” said Alyssa Kelleher, a sophomore majoring in political science. “But I am excited to see what they have to bring to the table.” Kelleher said that the inauguration was “a breath of fresh air compared to the previous administration.”

“Of course, it looked very different,” Kelleher continued. “It was very different with the pandemic and the attack on the Capitol.” Kelleher also sensed that security seemed higher, because “people were nervous for Biden to potentially be assassinated.”

2020 was a historic year. It included an election, a global pandemic, and the rise several social movements. These three weeks of events can only begin to unveil what 2021 will look like.

The Capitol Building in Washington, DC, was stormed by a mob of Trump supporters on January 6, 2021. (Photo by Arun Kumar)


The National Guard surrounded the Capitol building in the wake of the insurrection. (Photo by Brendan Beale)