Trump Will Leave Office 'Tarred and Feathered': European Newspapers React to Impeachment

Unsurprisingly, the second impeachment of Donald Trump was the focus of Europe's newspapers with arresting images from the event emblazoned on many front pages.

Above the fold on French daily Le Monde was a photograph of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signing the article of impeachment during a ceremony on Wednesday.

The headline read "Donald Trump confronts a historic second impeachment" and the article details the House of Representative's 232-197 vote in favor of the motion.

An op-ed by Le Monde's Alain Frachon that was rich in imagery said Trump "will leave the White House on January 20 like the villain in the final frame of a western that has gone on too long—naked, with his body tarred and feathered."

#ALaUne Donald Trump dace à un deuxième impeachment historique pic.twitter.com/pL2KJ1VyzQ

— Le Monde (@lemondefr) January 14, 2021

The Spanish daily El Pais had the dramatic picture of National Guard troops camped inside the U.S. Capitol building, some standing, others supine. Above that image of quiet strength which had been manifestly absent during the chaos last Wednesday, was the headline: "Second impeachment to Trump."

In its inside pages, a piece by Washington correspondent Pablo Guimon said that the action taken against the president "has exposed the cracks that the assault on the Capitol had opened in the monolith of unconditional loyalty to Trump that the Republican Party had become."

U.S. National Guard arrive at U.S. Capitol
The U.S. National Guard arrive at the U.S. Capitol on January 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. The world's media focus a lot on the military presence as lawmakers gathered to vote to impeach President Donald Trump. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Another image of the military presence in the government building also adorned the front page of the august German daily Die Welt, with the curt headline "In the capital."

A version of the same photo was also on the front of the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia which described the military presence in the heart of U.S. democracy as a tableau that "evoked scenes from another tumultuous period in American history, the American Civil War." The headline in the Catalonia-based paper read: "The U.S. Congress condemns Trump for insurrection."

The Russian newspaper Izvestia reported how Trump's impeachment would in fact create unnecessary difficulties for incoming president Joe Biden.

Valery Garbuzov, who heads the Institute of the U.S. and Canada Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, told the paper that the impeachment shifts focus away from what the incoming administration hopes to achieve.

It also would put the president-elect on a collision course with the objectives of Pelosi who wants to see an end to Trump, even though Biden "has different goals."

"Nearly 75 million Trump voters is a significant figure and Biden understands that he needs not just the Democrats' support," Garbuzov said in the piece headlined: "Why Trump's impeachment doesn't inspire Biden."

British papers also focused on the impeachment, with The Daily Telegraph, running an image of House majority leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) walking past the troops inside the Capitol, some of whom are sleeping. "Washington on knife-edge as Trump is impeached for second time," is its headline.

TELEGRAPH: PM pledges to ramp up vaccination rollout #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/l2orIFWyRG

— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) January 13, 2021

The Times of London splashed with the headline: "U.S. on alert as Trump impeached for second time" above a different image of the National Guard members. The paper's columnist David Aaronovitch wrote that "every now and again democracies make terrible mistakes, and Donald Trump has turned out to be the worst."

However, he warned that it was important that Democrats "curb their enthusiasm for purging Trumpists and gloating at their downfall," and concluded that "no scores should be settled, no pleasure taken in the process of punishing."

The graphic below, produced by Statista, shows how the impeachment process works in the U.S. Congress.

U.S. Impeachment Process
An infographic showing how the impeachment process works in the U.S. Congress. Statista