Jan. 7 (UPI) — Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Thursday for President Donald Trump to be immediately removed from office as pressure mounted on Republicans to support invoking the 25th Amendment.
Schumer, describing a violent siege of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters on Wednesday as an “insurrection against the United States,” said in a statement that the 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 [Vice President Mike Pence] to immediately invoke the 25th Amendment,” he said.
“If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.”
Pelosi, in her weekly news conference from the Capitol, said she joins Schumer’s call for invocation of the 25th Amendment.
“If the vice president and Cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment,” she said. “That is the overwhelming sentiment of my caucus.”
Pelosi blamed Trump for inciting the violence which “will forever stain our nation’s history.”
“In calling for this seditious act, the president has committed an unspeakable assault on our nation and our people.”
Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, which never has been invoked, states the president can be removed from power if the vice president and a majority of Cabinet members find him “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday issued a joint statement calling on Pence and Trump’s Cabinet to invoke the amendment, while Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said she was drawing up impeachment articles.
It remained unclear if Pence and Cabinet members were willing to make such a move. While there have been “some discussions” among Cabinet members and Trump’s allies over invoking the 25th Amendment, it’s unknown if Pence supports those discussions, ABC News reported.
Treasury Secretary Elaine Chao resigned from the Cabinet Thursday afternoon, potentially complicating any efforts to pursue the 25th.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., on Thursday became the first Republican lawmaker to call for Trump’s removal from office.
“Here’s the truth. The president caused this,” Kinzinger said in a video message. “The president is unfit and the president is unwell. And the president now must relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntarily.”
Conservative television commentator Meghan McCain, daughter of the late GOP Sen. John McCain and a longtime Trump critic, also urged Republicans to demand that the 25th Amendment be invoked.
“[Trump] is clearly a president who has turned into a mad king, and at this point, I’m calling on all Republicans and conservatives who still have clout — we have to invoke the 25th Amendment,” she said on “The View.”
“We cannot withstand this. Our country cannot go on like this.”