Following the unprecedented rioting by supporters of Donald Trump in the U.S. Capitol, a growing number of people, both Democrats and Republicans, are calling for the president to be removed from office.
According to White House correspondent April D. Ryan, the push is happening even at the leadership level, as she reported that “Congressional leaders are in the undisclosed location and focusing on the 25th Amendment to get @realDonaldTrump out of office!”
And Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel reported that Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark, assistant Speaker of the House and the fourth-ranking congressional Democrat, called Trump “a traitor to our country and our Constitution” who “must be removed from office and prevented from further endangering our country and our people.”
But they’re far from alone. Among notable examples from the Democratic side of the spectrum, Rep. Ilhan Omar says she is drafting new articles of impeachment. Her colleague in “the Squad,” Massachusetts Democrat Ayanna Pressley, also called for Trump’s impeachment and removal from office “as soon as Congress reconvenes,” and said his conduct is “dangerous & unacceptable.”
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Other Democrats publicly calling for Trump to be removed include Florida Rep. Charlie Crist; Georgia Rep. Lucy McBath; Virginia Rep. Jennifer Wexton; Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline; California Rep Ted Lieu; Pennsylvania Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon; Massachusetts Representatives Seth Moulton, Bill Keating, Jake Auchincloss, Lori Trahan, and Jim McGovern; Sen. Ed Markey; and 17 members of the House judiciary committee.
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But, while the calls mainly came from Democratic circles, even prominent Republicans are beginning to demand Trump leave office two weeks before Joe Biden is sworn in. Most notably, Vermont’s Republican Governor Phil Scott has demanded Trump either resign or be removed by force from the presidency.
In addition, according to Katie Couric, Melania Trump’s chief of staff quit in protest over the spectacle.
And in the private sector, the National Association of Manufacturers was among the prominent American business groups condemning Trump’s actions and calling for his removal.
Trump incited the riot Wednesday morning during an appearance at the so-called “Save America” rally in Washington, held in protest of Joe Biden’s legitimate and overwhelming victory in November. Trump told attendees “we will never concede,” lied that Vice President Mike Pence has the power to overturn the election, and continued to advance falsehoods about election fraud while urging his supporters not to “take it.” Trump then told supporters to march to the Capitol to “give our Republicans the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”
His supporters attempted to do just that, marching to the Capitol and, eventually, breaking past police barriers — there is evidence Capitol Police simply let them in — to storm the building. Law enforcement officials say some even brought explosive devices, and members of Congress were forced to evacuate. The rioters occupied the building until just before 5:00 p.m. ET.
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After several hours, and only after President-elect Biden demanded that Trump do something, Trump tweeted a video in which he ostensibly urged rioters to stop their violence. However, he began the video by flat-out lying that he won the 2020 election by a “landslide,” continued to advance his thoroughly baselessly claim that President-elect Joe Biden’s victory was the result of widespread voter fraud and specifically told rioters that he loved them and that they are “very special people.”
Twitter at first made the video post impossible to retweet, like, or comment on, and added a label that said Trump’s “claim of election fraud is disputed” and the tweet carried “a risk of violence.” But in response to growing criticism and further incitement to violence by Trump, Twitter took the unprecedented step of suspending his account for 12 hours and threatened a permanent ban if Trump violates the company’s rules in the future.