While history was made yesterday, as Donald Trump became the first US president in history to be impeached twice, he was reportedly focused on other matters – namely, awarding country musicians Toby Keith and Ricky Skaggs with the National Medal Of The Arts.
NBC News reported that, while yesterday’s impeachment hearing was underway in Congress, Trump was presiding over the private ceremony in the Oval Office to grant the awards.
NEW: As the impeachment vote is underway, Trump is giving medals to @tobykeith and @RickySkaggs — national medal of the arts, sources tell @JenniferJJacobs https://t.co/3layFbewGf pic.twitter.com/n6LHBZvUB2
— Bloomberg (@business) January 13, 2021
The Medal is the highest award that can be given to artists and arts patrons by the US government, and is awarded by the President to individuals or groups who “…are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States”. The medal was previously awarded to Alison Krauss and Jon Voight by Donald Trump during a ceremony in 2019.
Toby Keith is known for his patriotic songwriting, such as American Soldier, Made In America, and Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue, all of which he performed at the Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration, an event that marked Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration.
Ricky Skaggs’s career has seen him win 15 Grammy awards, as well as be inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame and the IBMA Bluegrass Music Hall Of Fame.
The private ceremony took place just a week after the deadly riots at the US Capitol building. The events saw four rioters and one police officer lose their lives. Donald Trump’s speech before the events was described in the second article of impeachment to have “encouraged and foreseeably resulted in lawless action at the Capitol.” The article also stated that Trump “repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the presidential election results were fraudulent and should not be accepted.”
Trump now faces trial in the Senate, but not before he leaves office next Wednesday when president-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.
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