Horrified and outraged House Democrats are organizing a push to remove President Donald Trump from office after he egged on a violent storming of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday by extremist supporters.
Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Ted Lieu (D-CA), members of the House Judiciary Committee, are circulating a letter among committee colleagues to send to Vice President Mike Pence, urging him to invoke the 25th Amendment, under which Pence and a majority of Cabinet officers could remove Trump from office on the basis that he is unable to do his job.
“For the sake of our democracy, we emphatically urge you to invoke the 25th Amendment and begin the process of removing President Trump from power,” states the letter, which was obtained by The Daily Beast. “Even in his video announcement this afternoon, President Trump revealed that he is not mentally sound and is still unable to process and accept the results of the 2020 election. President Trump’s willingness to incite violence and social unrest to overturn the election results by force clearly meet this standard.”
The push comes as a number of lawmakers and outside groups announced their support for Trump’s removal from office after Wednesday’s events. Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), the number four House Democrat, tweeted her support of Trump’s removal, as did a number of other lawmakers. Joining them was the historically right-leaning National Association of Manufacturers, an influential lobbying group, which took the remarkable step on Wednesday of calling for Trump’s removal under the 25th Amendment.
Speaking from his Capitol Hill office Wednesday night, Cicilline told The Daily Beast that, should Pence decline to remove Trump, he and his colleagues would push for articles of impeachment “immediately.” They would have little time: Trump is already set to leave office in two weeks, on Jan. 20. But proponents of the push, though they believe Trump should be removed immediately, framed it as a matter of accountability.
“We should impeach the president, he should be convicted, to ensure he’s held accountable for not only this conduct today, but for the conduct that he’s been engaged in the last month, two months,” said Cicilline. “This is shocking behavior... this is exactly what you’d expect in some country where a dictator is holding onto power. We cannot allow the president of the United States to engage in this behavior and suffer no consequences.”