Conflicts & War

Top Democrats demand Trump’s immediate removal

Washington, Jan 7 (efe-epa).- The highest-ranking Democratic officeholders in the United States demanded Thursday that Vice President Mike Pence invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to remove President Donald Trump for instigating an assault on the Capitol by his supporters that resulted in four deaths.

“In calling for this seditious act, the president has committed an unspeakable assault on our nation, and our people,” Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, told a press conference at the Capitol some 12 hours after Congress certified Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the Nov. 3 presidential election.

“I join the Senate Democratic leader in calling on the vice president to remove this president by immediately invoking the 25th Amendment. If the vice president and Cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment,” she said.

Under the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution, the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet can remove a president if they decide that he or she is “unable to discharge the powers and duties” of the nation’s highest office.

“What happened at the US Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement Thursday morning. “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,” the New York Democrat said.

Neither Pence nor any member of the Cabinet has commented publicly on the idea of using the 25th Amendment to oust Trump less than two weeks before Biden becomes president on Jan. 20.

But Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced Thursday that she was resigning effective Jan. 11 in response to the previous day’s events at the Capitol.

“Yesterday, our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed,” the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

“As I’m sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside,” she said in a message to Transportation Department staff.

The usually voluble Trump has not communicated directly with the public since Twitter locked his account after he posted a tweet Wednesday evening that appeared to justify the violence of his supporters.

“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long,” the president wrote.

While it remained unclear Thursday afternoon whether Twitter planned to restore Trump’s account, Facebook announced an open-ended ban on posting by the outgoing president.

Two prominent Republicans, US Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, have joined Democrats in calling for Trump to leave office immediately.

“I think there’s no question that America would be better off if the president would resign or be removed from office. And if Mike Pence, the vice president of the United States, would conduct a peaceful transfer of power over the next 13 days until President Biden is sworn in,” Hogan told a press conference.

Retired Gen. John Kelly, who served as Trump’s chief of staff, said in an interview with CNN that the Cabinet should discuss invoking the 25th Amendment.

The Democratic-controlled House impeached Trump in December 2019 over his ostensible attempt to leverage military aid to get the government in Kiev to investigate business dealings in Ukraine involving Hunter Biden – Joe Biden’s son – during the time that the elder Biden was serving as vice president under Barack Obama.

The president went on to be acquitted in the Republican-majority Senate, but Trump could not be certain of the same result in a case based on his role in Wednesday’s mayhem at the Capitol.

A conviction in the Senate would mean a lifetime ban on holding public office, eliminating the possibility that Trump could seek to return to the White House in 2024, something Republican senators with presidential ambitions might see as a desirable outcome.

Shortly after mid-day on Wednesday, hundreds of Trump partisans invaded the Capitol as lawmakers were meeting to certify the election outcome.

Related Articles

Back to top button