Pelosi, Schumer Ask Cabinet To Eject Trump, Threaten Impeachment

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer demanded that President Donald Trump’s cabinet immediately remove him from office and threatened a new drive to impeach him if they don’t act. Pelosi, Schumer Ask Cabinet To Eject Trump, Threaten Impeachment

The two top Democrats in Congress on Thursday accused Trump of inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol and called him a continuing threat to democracy in his waning days in the White House.

Trump is “a very dangerous person who should not continue in office,” Pelosi said in Washington. “This is urgent, an emergency of the highest magnitude.”

In a separate news conference in New York, Schumer echoed Pelosi’s dire warnings. “The best thing to do is to get rid of him,” he said. “I don’t trust him one bit.”

The extraordinary broadside against Trump came as the president is under siege from some Republicans as well as Democrats and from inside his own administration as top officials announce resignations.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is so far the highest ranking official to depart. She said in her resignation announcement that the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters “deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.”

Investors largely shrugged off the violence in Washington and the turmoil in the government, as nearly 70% of the companies in the S&P 500 rose in trading on Thursday on the prospect for more stimulus and the likelihood that calm will prevail once Joe Biden takes over the presidency on Jan. 20.

Pelosi said she wants to hear as soon as today from Vice President Mike Pence about whether he would act on calls to use the Constitution’s 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office in the final 13 days of his term. Schumer said he and Pelosi attempted to reach Pence by phone Thursday morning but were left waiting for 25 minutes.

Although numerous congressional Democrats have been calling for Trump to be impeached, it was unclear whether there is time to do so before he leaves office on Jan. 20 and whether there is significantly more Republican support than earlier this year after the Senate voted to acquit him on impeachment charges brought by the Democratic-led House.

Although Schumer said the House and Senate should be brought back for impeachment proceedings, Pelosi said there were “no immediate plans” to call members back.

”If he wants to be unique and be doubly impeached — that’s up to him and his cabinet if he wants to stay in office,” Pelosi said.

Schumer, who is set to become majority leader, said in a statement earlier Thursday that Pence should take over the Oval Office until Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20.

A number of rank-and-file Democrats have urged Trump’s impeachment, and a Republican, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, also backed ousting the president via the 25th Amendment.

“Not only has the president abdicated his duty to protect the American people and the people’s house, he invoked and inflamed passions that only gave fuel to the insurrection that we saw here,” Kinzinger said in a tweeted video statement. “The president is unfit and the president is unwell and the president must now relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntarily.”

One senior Republican senator told White House Counsel Pat Cipollone that the cabinet should consider removing Trump by invoking the 25th Amendment if he doesn’t stop inciting violence, a person familiar with the matter said.

The 25th Amendment provides for the removal of the president if the vice president and a majority of the cabinet determines that he or she is “unable to discharge the powers and duties” of the office. If the president contests the finding, and the vice president and cabinet persist, Congress can order the president’s removal by a two-thirds vote in both chambers.

The outcry stemmed from the violence Wednesday, when a mob of Trump supporters broke through police lines and invaded the Capitol, disrupting a joint session of Congress convened to formally count the Electoral College votes from the November presidential election. A White House spokesman later promised an orderly transition of power, but Trump has refused to acknowledge his election loss to Biden.

Impeachment and removal from office would require a simple majority in the House but two-thirds of the Senate.

Only one Republican, Senator Mitt Romney, voted to convict Trump after his impeachment in 2019. Convicting Trump would require many more Republicans to vote in favor.

Romney on Wednesday said there is probably too little time before Trump is out of office on Jan. 20 to begin impeachment proceedings again.

Asked whether the 25th Amendment should be used, he told reporters, “I think we have to hold our breath for the next 20 days.”

Many of Trump’s GOP allies also have distanced themselves from the president after Wednesday’s violence.

House Judiciary Committee Democrats led by Representatives David Cicilline, Ted Lieu and Jamie Raskin said Thursday they are circulating articles of impeachment of Trump charging him with “willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States” and calling for him to be immediately removed from office and barred from holding any U.S. office again.

“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government,” they wrote. “He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power and imperiled a coordinate branch of government.”

Pelosi emphasized the urgent need to strip Trump of all authority, given the uncertainty of how he might behave in the next two weeks before Biden is sworn in.

”While it is only 13 days left,” Pelosi said, “any day can be a horror show for America.”

Police Officer Dies From Injuries In Riot

A U.S. Capitol police officer has died from injuries sustained during the riot at the Capitol. A former White House chief of staff under President Donald Trump, John Kelly, backed removing his ex-boss through invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. The ranks of Democratic lawmakers calling for using that tool, or impeachment, swelled.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer in calling for Trump’s ouster in the wake of what many lawmakers from both sides of the aisle said was his incitement of the mob that stormed the Capitol. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he doesn’t at this point support invoking the 25th Amendment, while leaving open that option “if something else happens.”

Capitol Police Officer Dies (12:10 a.m.)

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has died of injuries he sustained when Trump supporters broke into the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon.

The officer, Brian Sicknick, who joined the force in 2008, was hurt “while physically engaging with protesters,” according to a department statement. “He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.”

The department added in the statement that the death would be investigated by the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department. Sicknick was the fifth person who died in connection to the storming of the Capitol. Earlier in the day, the chief of the Capitol Police, Steven Sund, resigned. His last day will be on Jan. 16, according to a department official. — Billy House

Senate Sergeant At Arms Resigns (8:43 p.m.)

Senate Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper Michael Stenger has resigned in response to the invasion of the Capitol by rioters on Wednesday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday.

McConnell said he had demanded Stegner’s resignation, which will take effect immediately, and that Deputy Sergeant at Arms Jennifer Hemingway would serve as acting sergeant at arms.

“I thank Jennifer in advance for her service as we begin to examine the serious failures that transpired yesterday and continue and strengthen our preparations for a safe and successful inauguration on Jan. 20th,” McConnell said in a statement.

McConnell acted after Schumer said he would fire Stenger when Democrats take control of the chamber later this month.

Earlier, the chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, Steven Sund, stepped down after calls from Pelosi and other congressional leaders. His last day will be Jan. 16, according to a department official. — Max Berley

Jeffries Joins Democratic Congressional Leaders Backing Impeachment (5:15 p.m.)

Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, a member of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership team, joined the number of lawmakers supporting impeachment of President Donald Trump.

“Donald Trump should be impeached, convicted and removed from office immediately,” Jeffries said in a tweet. — Billy House

Former Trump White House Chief Backs His Ouster (4:22 p.m.)

Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said that if he were still in Trump’s cabinet, he would back the invocation of the 25th Amendment to remove him.

“The behavior yesterday and in the weeks and months before that has been outrageous from the president,” Kelly said on CNN. “What happened on Capitol Hill yesterday was a direct result of him poisoning the minds of people with the lies and the fraud.”

He said that “the cabinet should meet and have a discussion” about the 25th Amendment. Asked if he’d vote to remove Trump if he were still in the cabinet, Kelly said, “Yes, I would.” — Jordan Fabian

Graham Says Trump’s Actions Were ‘The Problem’ (2:42 p.m.)

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the outgoing chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a Trump ally, criticized the president for stoking Wednesday’s mob that stormed the Capitol. But he said that talk of using 25th Amendment “isn’t appropriate.”

“The president needs to understand his actions were the problem, not the solution,” Graham said at a press briefing Thursday.

He also said, “I don’t support an effort to invoke the 25th Amendment now. If something else happens, then all options would be on the table.”

Graham urged members of the cabinet to stay in their posts until Joe Biden takes over as president week after next.

He said people including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had been helping keep the administration working.

“To those who believe you should leave your posts now to make a statement, I would urge you not,” Graham said.

Graham called for a joint task force to investigate the response by authorities to the violence on Wednesday, which he characterized as domestic terrorism. — Laura Litvan

Pelosi Calls For Trump’s Ouster As President (2:11 p.m.)

Pelosi said at a press briefing Thursday, “the president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America” with his appeal to supporters Wednesday who went on to storm the Capitol. She joined Schumer in urging Pence to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump.

“If the vice president and the cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment,” she said.

Pelosi said Trump is “a very dangerous person who should not continue in office. This is urgent, an emergency of the highest magnitude.” — Billy House

Schumer Moves To Oust Senate’s Sergeant-at-Arms (1:26 p.m.)

Schumer said Thursday that he will fire the Senate’s security official, Mike Stenger, after Democrats assume control of the Senate over how Capitol police handled the Jan. 6 riots

If “Stenger hasn’t vacated the position by then, I will fire him as soon as Democrats have a majority in the Senate,” Schumer said in a statement.

Pro-Trump rioters were able to enter the U.S. Capitol, making their way into the Senate chamber and damaging property. One rioter even took his seat in the presiding officer’s chair.

The House Appropriations Committee separately announced an investigation into the Capitol Police’s handling of the turmoil. — Erik Wasson

Schumer Calls For Trump To Be Removed By Cabinet (11:34 a.m.)

Schumer called for President Donald Trump to be immediately removed from office, saying he incited an insurrection against the government by encouraging the mob that stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.

Schumer, who’s set to become majority leader, said in a statement that Vice President Mike Pence should invoke the Constitution’s 25th Amendment, using support of the cabinet to take over in the Oval Office until Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20. — Laura Litvan, Steven Dennis

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