U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer holds weekly press briefing in front of 780 3rd avenue in Manhattan. – New York, NY – October 4, 2020 (Shutterstock)
By Jordain Carney, The Hill
Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) on Thursday called for President Trump to be removed from office through the 25th Amendment after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol the day before.
“What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president. This president should not hold office one day longer,” Schumer said in a statement.
“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. If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president,” he added.
Talk of invoking the 25th Amendment has spiked since Wednesday, when rioters overran the Capitol, breaching both the House and Senate chambers and suspending the counting of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win for hours. Congress reconvened on Wednesday night and formally finished tallying the win early Thursday morning.
Schumer is the highest-ranking Democrat to throw his support behind removing Trump from office with roughly two weeks left in his administration. Democratic lawmakers, outside groups and even GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) have thrown their support behind the idea.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who is holding a press conference on Thursday afternoon, has not weighed in on removing Trump through the 25th Amendment in the wake of Wednesday’s violence.
Pelosi previously backed legislation last year that would create a panel to gauge a president’s capacity to perform the job — and potentially remove the commander in chief from office.
Several House Democrats have backed either invoking the 25th Amendment or impeaching Trump in the wake of Wednesday’s riots.
Top members of Schumer’s leadership team have also backed removing Trump, while acknowledging that Senate Republicans might not support impeachment with less than two weeks to go.
“The most immediate way to ensure the President is prevented from causing further harm in coming days is to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove him from office. As history watches, I urge Vice President Pence and the President’s cabinet to put country before party and act,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the No. 3 Senate Democrat, said in a statement early Thursday morning.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Schumer’s No. 2, told reporters on Thursday that he thought Trump’s actions warranted impeachment.
“He certainly deserves it…after what happened yesterday he should be removed from office but I don’t believe there’s a stomach for it on the Republican side and there’s very little time left,” Durbin said.
A source confirmed to The Hill on Wednesday night that administration officials have started discussing the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, an extraordinary step that would require a majority of Cabinet officials plus Vice President Pence to declare to Congress that Trump is unable to fulfill his duties as president.