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Schumer, NYC Congress members call for Trump’s immediate removal from presidency via 25th Amendment or impeachment

Senator Chuck Schumer at a recent press conference.
Photo by Dean Moses

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of Brooklyn said Thursday he supports the immediate removal of Donald Trump from the presidency following Wednesday’s attack upon the U.S. Capitol by a mob of the outgoing president’s supporters.

Within moments of his call, two Bronx Congress Members said they were on board with the proposal: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ritchie Torres. Later on Thursday, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of Brooklyn/Queens/Manhattan, Queens Congresswoman Grace Meng and Manhattan/Bronx Congressman Adriano Espillat also called for Trump’s dismissal.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also announced Thursday she supports the immediate removal of Trump from the presidency either through the 25th Amendment or by impeachment.

In a press statement, Schumer called upon Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment — which provides that the vice president and a majority of Cabinet members can declare the president unfit to discharge his duties, and remove him from his official duties.

If Pence and the Cabinet members choose not to, the New York senator said, Congress should reconvene immediately to swiftly impeach and removed Trump from office.

“What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president,” Schumer said in his statement. “This president should not hold office one day longer.”

Schumer said that Pence and the Cabinet invoking the 25th Amendment would be the swiftest way to get Trump out of the White House — “it can be done today,” he noted. 

Both the House and Senate broke for recess until Jan. 19 after the chambers completed the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory early Thursday morning. Schumer said they should immediately reconvene and begin impeachment proceedings if Pence and the Cabinet fail to act now.

Torres and AOC said on Twitter they are ready to help.

 

Ocasio-Cortez also posted on Twitter a joint resolution created by Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar seeking to formally impeach Trump.

“After casting my vote and arriving home early (Thursday) morning, and thinking through how we as a nation and a government respond to the insurrection, one thing is very clear: Trump must be removed from office either via the 25th Amendment or impeachment,” Maloney added in a statement. “Invoking the 25th Amendment is the quickest way to do this, and expedience must be our goal.  He is clearly unfit and cannot be trusted to carry out his duties and peacefully transfer power to the next President – he must be removed from office as soon as possible. If the Vice President and Cabinet fail to act, we have a duty to pursue impeachment.”

“President Trump is a danger to our democracy and nation,” added Meng in a statement. “He incited yesterday’s chaos, violence, and destruction at the U.S. Capitol. His removal must be immediate and swift. Vice President Pence must invoke the 25th Amendment to protect our democracy from further strain. If this is not done, Congress must return to impeach and remove the President.”

No president has ever been impeached twice; Trump was impeached in the fall of 2019 for obstruction of Congress and abuse of power, but was acquitted at trial the following February — with 52 of the 53 Republican senators finding him not guilty (Utah Senator Mitt Romney was the lone exception). 

Trump had addressed a throng of thousands of his supporters who converged upon Washington on Jan. 6, hours before a joint session of Congress convened to certify the electoral vote tally in the 2020 presidential election — which Trump lost to Biden.

After hearing speeches from Trump acolytes such as Donald Trump Jr. and Rudy Giuliani, Trump took to the stage and called upon the crowd to march on Capitol Hill. Shortly after the certification process began, at about 2 p.m., the mob began breaching the barriers around the Capitol, eventually invading the heart of democracy. 

The incident, which left four people dead, inflicted damage upon the Capitol both seen and unseen. House and Senate members had to halt their proceedings and take cover, being kept in lockdown for hours as the mob had their run over the building. 

Trump released a half-hearted video statement as the violence unfolded, calling on the thugs to go home, but also saying that he loved them and thought they were very special

Eventually, law enforcement agents and National Guard troops were called into action and cleared the building, allowing Congress to resume their Constitutional duties and certify Biden’s win.

In the hours after the insurrection, even long-time Trump supporters in Congress had condemned the episode. Reports also began circulating that Cabinet members were having discussions about invoking the 25th Amendment. 

Trump finally conceded defeat early Thursday morning. His term in office expires at noon on Jan. 20, when Biden officially becomes president.

Schumer currently serves as the Senate minority leader, but will become the chamber’s majority leader at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 20 with the swearing in of Vice President Kamala Harris following the Democrats’ victory Tuesday night in Georgia’s Senate runoffs. That will make the chamber evenly split between Republicans and Democrats/independents, and Harris — as the incoming president of the Senate and tie-breaking vote — would put Democrats/independents in the majority. 

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