News evaluation

The impeachment of President Trump for a second time — in a Capitol ringed by troops — appeared like the virtually inevitable fruits of 4 years that left the nation fractured, offended and dropping its sense of self.

Members of the National Guard resting in the Capitol during a break in shifts as the House prepared to vote on whether to impeach President Trump.Members of the National Guard resting within the Capitol throughout a break in shifts because the House ready to vote on whether or not to question President Trump.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Peter Baker

  • Jan. 13, 2021Updated 10:50 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — Not because the darkish days of the Civil War and its aftermath has Washington seen a day fairly like Wednesday.

In a Capitol bristling with closely armed troopers and newly put in metallic detectors, with the bodily wreckage of last week’s siege cleaned up however the emotional and political wreckage nonetheless on show, the president of the United States was impeached for making an attempt to topple American democracy.

Somehow, it felt just like the preordained coda of a presidency that repeatedly pressed all limits and frayed the bonds of the body politic. With lower than per week to go, President Trump’s time period is climaxing in violence and recrimination at a time when the nation has fractured deeply and misplaced a way of itself. Notions of reality and actuality have been atomized. Faith within the system has eroded. Anger is the one frequent floor.

As if it weren’t sufficient that Mr. Trump grew to become the one president impeached twice or that lawmakers have been making an attempt to take away him with days left in his time period, Washington devolved right into a miasma of suspicion and battle. A Democratic member of Congress accused Republican colleagues of serving to the mob final week scout the constructing prematurely. Some Republican members sidestepped magnetometers supposed to maintain weapons off the House ground or kept going even after setting them off.

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