Should presidents only serve one term

Trump skipped the handover in Washington

The 90-strong team had around five hours in the White House to remove the traces of the outgoing US President Donald Trump from the building and to get everything ready for the new President Joe Biden to move in. The moving trucks were only allowed to drive up when Biden took the oath of office at 12 noon - some furnishings were already in a warehouse in Maryland.

Trump's private household effects rushed off together with its owner towards Palm Beach, Florida, where the family will live in the future. Including the $ 50,000 room-filling golf simulator and giant TV that Trump loved to show on social media.

The fact that the move was even more stressful this year than it was four years ago - and de facto with all previous changes of power - was mainly due to the fact that the 45th President had to move out after only one term. After eight years in the White House, the Obamas and the Clintons were prepared to have to leave their homes. On the other hand, Trump refused to the last to acknowledge his defeat in the presidential election, thus delaying the packing. In addition, the White House has been the hotspot of at least three Covid-19 outbreaks in the past few months and therefore required particularly intensive cleaning.

Message at the desk

The Trumps have also broken the convention that the future first family will be invited to the White House in the days and weeks before the official inauguration. The first ladies in particular usually meet for coffee so that the outgoing lady can introduce the staff to the future. Laura Bush hosted Michelle Obama twice in 2009. Trump is said to have left at least one message for his successor.

So it is an advantage that Joe Biden knows the residence and official residence of the president from his time as Barack Obama's deputy very well. The transition team is also in active contact with the so-called Chief Usher of the White House - the man who looks after the management of the building: Timothy Harleth. This post was actually always held by an apolitical official with mostly a military background, but Harleth held a management position at the Trump Hotel Washington before he was hired by Melania Trump. It is therefore expected that he will go with the Trumps.

All things related to the 45th presidency, i.e. documents, briefing books or artifacts, go to the national archives, where they remain unpublished for twelve years. Except Trump himself decides that parts may first be made public.

Digital move

Donald Trump's entire social media history is also archived there. So also his Twitter activity - including all deleted postings. The official Trump account @POTUS became @ POTUS45 with Biden's inauguration, and the previous @PresElectBiden became the new @POTUS. This led to trouble in advance with Biden's new digital strategist Rob Flaherty. Because with this procedure, Twitter did not transfer the previous 33 million followers of the Trump account to the Biden account. Rather, it had to build on around a million followers with the inauguration.

Donald Trump had turned to his followers on Wednesday before his departure in Marine One. As expected, he painted an exaggeratedly good picture of his presidency and never mentioned the name of the new president. But he said that he would come back.

In what form will the impeachment vote still pending in the Senate determine. House of Lords Republican Leader Mitch McConnell first put Trump in charge of the January 6th storm on the Capitol on Tuesday.

Last minute pardons

Not free from guilt, but at least from further punishment, the outgoing president spoke to more than 70 people in his last hours in office. As during his four-year term in office, Donald Trump's companions and confidants were on the last long pardon list. It was surprising that the former chief strategist Stephen Bannon also benefited from a pardon. Bannon had collected donations for the construction of a border wall with Mexico and is said to have pocketed a million US dollars personally. But there had not yet been any legal proceedings.

In addition to Trump acquaintances, prisoners who have been fighting for their release for years and who are serving disproportionately long prison terms for non-violent drug offenses have also been pardoned. For example, Darrell Frazier has been pardoned, who has been in custody for 30 years for cocaine trafficking and, among other things, founded a charity organization for children during his time in prison. Craig Cesal, who was imprisoned for marijuana trafficking more than 20 years ago, also waived the remainder of his sentence. (Bianca Blei, January 20th, 2021)