By Adam Edelman
Presumptive Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to removePresident Donald Trump from office and a group of House Democrats began circulating articles of impeachment in response to Trump’s incitement of a crowd of supporters that violently stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Those efforts joined a growing chorus of calls from elected officials in both parties for Trump to be removed from office — either by using the 25th Amendment or through impeachment — following Wednesday’s terrifying attack.
“What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement on Thursday. “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,” Schumer said. “If the vice president and the cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president,” he added.
Under a provision of the 25th Amendment, the vice president can, with the support of the majority of the president’s cabinet, invoke the the measure and declare Trump unfit for office, which could lead to his early removal. Under such a scenario, the vice president would immediately take over as acting president.
The attack on the Capitol on Wednesday came after Trump spoke to the crowd, encouraging them to march to the building and saying, “you’ll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong.”
Earlier Thursday, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., called for Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, becoming the first Republican to do so.
In an interview with MSNBC, Kinzinger, slammed Trump as “unmoored, not just from his duty, or even his oath, but from reality itself” and said Pence, and the rest of Trump’s cabinet, needed to invoke the measure “to end this nightmare.”
“The president is unfit and the president is unwell. And the president must now relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntary,” he said.
Meanwhile, Democratic Reps. David Cicilline, of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu, of California and Jamie Raskin, of Maryland, circulated articles of impeachment against Trump on Thursday.
The legislation accuses Trump of “willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States” and having “gravely endangered the security of the United States,” which they added, “demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office.”
NEW: I am circulating Articles of Impeachment that @RepTedLieu, @RepRaskin and I have prepared to remove the President from office following yesterday's attack on the U.S. Capitol. pic.twitter.com/b92GL9Ap33— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) January 7, 2021
Official describes the president as a ‘total monster’ who refused to act as Congress was stormed
As Trump supporters raided the Capitol during a joint session of Congress, the president defended their actions back at the White House, an administration official told The Post.
“He kept saying: ‘The vast majority of them are peaceful. What about the riots this summer? What about the other side? No one cared when they were rioting. My people are peaceful. My people aren’t thugs,’ ” the unnamed official said, referring to the unrest last summer tied to the Black Lives Matter movement.
“He was a total monster today,” the official added, saying it was a worse day than when Trump defended the people who took part in the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Trump reportedly spent much of Wednesday “cocooned” at the White House as his supporters stormed the Capitol, and his aides say he has become “mentally unreachable.”
Some of Trump’s “stalwart aides and confidants reportedly ” have “given up trying to communicate with him” altogether, “considering him mentally unreachable.”
“His closest friends and paid White House officials — many of the Trumpiest Trumpers we know — are avoiding him like the plague,” Axios writes, adding, “The president’s final days in office will be lonely ones.”