After the Trump-incited violence at the U.S. Capitol earlier this week, Lehigh University has rescinded an honorary degree that they awarded the outgoing president all the way back in 1988. At the time, then-Lehigh President Peter Likins characterized Trump as “a symbol of our age — all the daring and energy that the word tycoon conjures up,” but now, in an unceremonious reversal, the Executive Committee of the school’s Board of Trustees “voted to rescind and revoke the honorary degree granted to Donald J. Trump in 1988,” according to a Lehigh statement. The committee made its decision on Thursday, and the full Board of Trustees affirmed the move on Friday, the school adds. They provided no explicit explanation, although the connection to the Capitol rioting seems rather obvious.
A message from the Board of Trustees: pic.twitter.com/SbRn0HUv7X
— Lehigh University (@LehighU) January 8, 2021
In a previous statement, Lehigh President John Simon spoke out against the Capitol violence, characterizing the events as “a violent assault on the foundations of our democracy.” Those foundations, he said, include “the abiding respect for the will of the people exercised in a free election and the peaceful transfer of power,” adding that he “sincerely [hopes] we can turn the sadness and anger that the lawlessness in our nation’s capital has evoked into motivation to make out nation more just.”
A message from President Simon: pic.twitter.com/lPc4vPCTSQ
— Lehigh University (@LehighU) January 7, 2021
Trump incited the violence at the Capitol via his nonsensical conspiracy theories that the presidential election was “rigged” against him, an idea that has never had meaningful supporting evidence. After the violence unfolded, Trump publicly justified what happened, writing in a since-removed Twitter post that “[these] are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.” Trump eventually tried to backtrack on this sentiment, but the damage was done.
In the wake of the chaos, a revocation of an honorary degree is far from the only pushback that Trump has faced. Congressional leaders have also called for the invocation of the 25th Amendment in order to immediately remove Trump from power. The amendment allows for the vice president and a majority of the president’s Cabinet members to formally certify that the president is unable to carry out their duties and thereby transfer presidential power to the vice president. Leaders have also floated the possibility of another impeachment of the outgoing president, which the House might take up on Monday.
House Democrats are currently planning to introduce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump as soon as Monday, our Hill team reports.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 8, 2021