A growing number of politicians – including from Democratic leadership – are calling for President Donald Trump to be removed from office either through impeachment or the 25th Amendment to the Constitution after a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the latest to push for immediate action, calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment.
“I join the Senate Democratic leader in calling on the Vice-President to remove this President by immediately invoking the 25th amendment,’ Ms. Pelosi said a short time ago.
“If the Vice-President and Cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment.”
Her comments come after moves by the Democrats, and at least one congressional Republican. Republican Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a frequent critic of the President, has called for the 25th Amendment to be invoked, saying in a video message on Thursday local time, “the President must now relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntarily”.
The top Democrat in the Senate has also embraced the 25th Amendment push.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer put out a statement on Thursday denouncing the “insurrection” at the Capitol “incited by the President,” and saying, “This president should not hold office one day longer”.
“The quickest and most effective way — it can be done today — to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th amendment. If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president,” he said in the statement.
Invoking the 25th Amendment would require Vice President Mike Pence and a majority of the Cabinet to vote to remove Mr. Trump from office due to his inability to “discharge the powers and duties of his office” — an unprecedented step.
Other rank-and-file Democrats have urged impeachment in the wake of the mob violence at the Capitol that took place as a joint session of Congress met to count the Electoral Votes affirming President-elect Joe Biden’s win amid false claims from Mr. Trump that the election was rigged against him.
Four members of the progressive “squad” of Democratic lawmakers – Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley — all spoke out in support of impeachment in the wake of the violent siege of the Capitol.
“I am drawing up Articles of Impeachment. Donald J. Trump should be impeached by the House of Representatives & removed from office by the United States Senate. We can’t allow him to remain in office, it’s a matter of preserving our Republic and we need to fulfill our oath,” Ms. Omar tweeted Wednesday.
“This is on Donald Trump, period. He called folks to D.C. and gave them marching orders. He needs to be impeached and removed immediately,” Ms. Tlaib tweeted Wednesday.
With Mr. Biden’s inauguration date fast approaching on January 20, it is highly unlikely that there would be adequate time or political will in Congress for any kind of impeachment effort.
Any 25th Amendment push is also unlikely to come to fruition with little time left before Mr. Biden’s inauguration. The calls in Congress, however, underscore the extent to which lawmakers are reeling and furious with the President in the wake of the devastation at the Capitol on Wednesday.
The Democratic-led House of Representatives impeached Mr. Trump already in 2019. In order to remove a President from office through impeachment, the Senate must vote to convict after an impeachment trial. That did not happen in the Republican-controlled Senate where Mr. Trump was ultimately acquitted.
After the pro-Trump mob was cleared from the Capitol, lawmakers reconvened late in the evening to continue the Electoral vote count. Congress completed the count and finalized Mr. Biden’s win in the early hours of Thursday morning, US time.