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Republican joins Schumer, AOC and dozens of other lawmakers demanding 25th amendment for Trump’s removal

Top Senate Democrat and growing list of lawmakers say Congress should impeach if Pence and cabinet refuse to remove president

Alex Woodward
New York
Thursday 07 January 2021 18:37 GMT
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Related video: Vice president Mike Pence condemns Capitol violence in remarks to the Senate on 6 January
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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the US Senate, has called for Donald Trump’s immediate removal from office through the vice president’s invocation of the 25th amendment in the wake of Trump supporters' violent insurrection attempt inside the Capitol.

Should he refuse, “Congress should reconvene to impeach the president," he said in a statement.

Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger, the first among Republican lawmakers in Washington to demand the invocation of the 25th amendment, has also called for the president’s swift removal from office,  with less than two weeks to go until President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

"The president has become unmoored, not just from his duty or even his oath, but from reality,” he said in a video statement on Thursday. "It is for this reason I call on the vice president and members of the cabinet to ensure the next few weeks are safe for the American people, and that we have a sane captain at the ship."

His statement joins calls from roughly 100 lawmakers urging the president's removal from office, through either his impeachment in Congress or through the 25th amendment of the US Constitution, which would require Vice President Mike Pence and cabinet members to make the unprecedented call for Trump's removal.

Read more: Follow the latest updates from pro-Trump riots in Washington on 6 January

“Sadly, yesterday, it became evident that the president not only abdicated his duty to protect the people and the people’s house, he invoked and inflamed passions that only gave fuel to the insurrection we saw here,” Congressman Kinzinger said.

He added: “We cannot forget what got us here – the liars and conspiracy authors are already at it again this morning, with false narratives about yesterday’s disaster. Here’s the truth: The president cost us. The president is unfit, and the president is unwell, and the president must now relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntarily.”

New York Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said: “Our republic is in great danger, and it is imperilled further without swift action to protect it.”

“The President incited an attack on Congress,” she wrote in a statement on Twitter. “He is deeply unstable. The Cabinet must invoke the 25th amendment. Congress must also pursue impeachment and removal of the President.”

She added that if the 25th amendment is not invoked on 7 January, “Congress must reconvene immediately for impeachment and removal proceedings.”

Democratic congressmembers serving on the House judiciary committee have also called on the vice president and Trump cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment.

“For the sake of our democracy, we emphatically urge you to invoke the 25th amendment and being the process of removing the president Trump from power," the group of 19 lawmakers wrote in their letter. “President Trump has shown time and again that he is unwilling to protect our democracy and carry out duties of the office.”

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is the lead sponsor on articles of impeachment that began circulating on Thursday, with co-sponsors Ms Ocasio-Cortez, David Cicilline, Ted Lieu, Al Green, Ayanna Pressley, Jamal Bowman, Mondaire Jones, Cori Bush, Rashida Tlaib, Hank Johnson and Vincente Gonzalez.

The document alleges the president incited a mob that interfered with the joint session of Congress to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election and “engaged in violent, deadly, destructive and seditious acts”.

Trump administration officials are reportedly weighing whether to intervene, as the president rages from inside the White House.

William Barr, who resigned from his post as US Attorney General, told the Associated Press that the president’s conduct represents “a betrayal of his office and supporters."

In a statement, Acting Homeland Security Chief Chad Wolf called the violent events at the Capitol “tragic and sickening” and implored the president and “all elected officials to strongly condemn the violence that took place yesterday.” His appointment was withdrawn by the White House earlier this month.

Republican Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland said that “there's no question that America would be better off if the president would resign or be removed from office,” with Pence overseeing a “peaceful transition of power over the next 13 days” before president-elect Biden’s swearing-in ceremony.

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