According to new reports, a growing number of Republican leaders and Cabinet officials believe Donald Trump should be removed from office before January 20 and will need Vice-president Mike Pence’s help if they are to succeed with the 25th Amendment.
After violent pro-Trump protesters stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, four Republicans called for the 25th Amendment to be invoked, and two others said the President should be impeached according to a report by CNN.
By impeaching and removing Trump, even at this late stage of his term, the Senate could subsequently vote to disqualify Trump from ever holding federal office again. On the other hand, invoking the 25th Amendment would require Vice President Mike Pence and a majority of the Cabinet to vote to remove Trump from office due to his inability to “discharge the powers and duties of his office” — an unprecedented step.
A former senior official said the President’s actions were egregious enough to remove him even with such a short time left in his tenure.
“I think this has been a huge shock to the system,” said the former official per CNN.
“How do you keep him in place for two weeks after this?”
The report also adds that some Cabinet members are holding preliminary discussions about invoking the 25th Amendment.
It’s not yet clear if there’ll be enough Cabinet members to result in Trump’s removal.
Within minutes of protestors breaching the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, Republicans were revisiting the idea of removing Trump from office, because they believe he was the main person responsible for inciting the violence.
Former President George W. Bush, a Republican released a strongly-worded rebuke Wednesday evening calling the “insurrection” at the Capitol a “sickening and heartbreaking sight.”
Bush said he was “appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement.”
Mitt Romney, the Utah senator who was the only Republican to vote to convict the President on an article of impeachment last year, called Trump a “selfish man” who “deliberately misinformed his supporters” about the election.
Romney also called the attack on the Capitol an “insurrection” and blamed Trump, saying he “stirred [supporters] to action this very morning.”
Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, a member of the House leadership, said:
“There is no question that the President formed the mob. The President incited mob, the President addressed the mob,” said Cheney on Fox News. “He lit the flame.”
Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, a staunch ally of Trump’s, added
“It’s past time for the president to accept the results of the election, quit misleading the American people, and repudiate mob violence,” Cotton said.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois dismissed Trump’s Wednesday afternoon tweet asking rioters at the Capitol to “remain peaceful.”