On Monday, an update to the U.S. State Department site said President Trump’s time in office was ending on Jan. 11, before the page was removed.
“Donald J. Trump’s term ended on 2021-01-11 19:49:00,” what appeared to be a sparse bio page for Trump on the State Department website said Monday afternoon. A bio for VP Mike Pence also had the same message. Users on social media noticed the changes just before 3 p.m. ET; within an hour, both pages were rendered inaccessible.
BuzzFeed News reported that a “disgruntled employee” had made the changes. Reps for the State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The tampering with the State Department’s website came after a pro-Trump mob, encouraged by the president, invaded the U.S. Capitol last week in a deadly clash with police. On Monday, House Democrats introduced an article of impeachment against Trump, accusing him of “inciting violence against the government of the United States,” and also want to intro a resolution calling on Pence to remove President Trump via the 25th Amendment.
President-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Trump in the 2020 election, is set to be inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States next Wednesday, Jan. 20.
Last week, more than 100 diplomats sent a memo to State Department leaders to “explicitly denounce President Trump’s role” in U.S. Capitol attack, saying in part, “It is critical that we communicate to the world that in our system, no one — not even the president — is above the law or immune from public criticism,” as first reported by Foreign Policy.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has ordered an internal investigation into the posting of the false information to the state.gov site, per the BuzzFeed News report.
Here’s a screen capture of the since-removed Trump biography page on the State Department website: