House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in the call for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump from the presidency following the deadly attack on the US Capitol.
Schumer released a statement on Thursday (January 7) morning following the attack, condemning the violence and calling for Trump’s immediate removal.
“What happened at the US Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United State, incited by the president,” Schumer said. “This president should not hold office one day longer.”
Schumer called for the invocation of the 25th Amendment as the “quickest and most effective way” to get Trump out.
“[I]t can be done today,” Schumer added. “If the vice president and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.”
Under the Constitution, the 25th Amendment can be invoked by the vice president with a majority of the Cabinet co-signing. It would deem Trump unfit for office and put Pence in his place.
Speaker Pelosi added to the call in saying that the “House would be prepared” to impeach Trump if Pence didn’t act.
Pelosi called Trump a “dangerous man who should not continue in office.”
“This is urgent,” she added, “This is [an] emergency of the highest magnitude.”
The move to impeach would be largely a symbolic gesture given his term is up in less than two weeks, however Pelosi underscored the potential for more danger in these last days. “While it’s only 13 days left, any day can be a horror show for America.”
Trump incited the violence on the Capitol following months of fueling baseless conspiracies about election fraud. At an event before the attack, Trump told supporters, “You’ll never take back our country with weakness, you have to have strength and you have to be strong.” During the attacks, he told rioters he “loved” them.
Bipartisan condemnation against Trump and the attacks has come swiftly. Democratic Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California, and Jamie Raskin of Maryland announced Thursday (January 7) they began circulating articles of impeachment against Trump.
Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota announced her plan to draw up impeachment articles on the day of the attack.
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois was the first GOP member of Congress to call for Pence to enact the 25th Amendment. In an interview with MSNBC, Kinzinger said Trump was “unmoored, not just from his duty, or even his oath, but from reality itself.” He called on Pence and members of the Cabinet “to end this nightmare.”
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