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Calls grow for Trump to be removed from office after Capitol Hill violence

Last Updated Jan 7, 2021 at 11:37 am PDT

FILE - President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Summary

There's renewed interest by some to have Donald Trump removed from office, despite him having two weeks left on term

Trump widely blamed for sparking chaos that played out at Capitol building ahead of Biden win certification

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEWS 1130) – While President Donald Trump is promising an orderly transfer of power to Joe Biden later this month, some are wondering if he should even remain as president until Jan. 20.

The violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, which has been largely blamed on Trump and his comments, has sparked some renewed interest in stripping the president of his power.

Several lawmakers suggested that Trump be prosecuted for a crime or even removed under the Constitution’s 25th Amendment, if he’s deemed unable to serve by the vice president and a majority of his cabinet. However, that seemed unlikely two weeks from when his term expires.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Trump should be removed from office immediately, or Congress may impeach him.

“The president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America,” she said at the Capitol.

Pelosi says he could do further harm to the country: “Any day can be a horror show for America.”

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer was also among the growing number of people calling on Trump’s cabinet to remove him from office following Wednesday’s events.

In a statement Thursday, Schumer said the attack on the Capitol “was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president.” He added, “This president should not hold office one day longer.”

“I think Donald Trump probably should be brought up on treason for something like this,” Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., told reporters Wednesday. “This is how a coup is started. And this is how democracy dies.”

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., who has at times clashed with Trump, issued a statement saying: “Lies have consequences. This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the President’s addiction to constantly stoking division.”

Despite Trump’s repeated claims of voter fraud, election officials and his own former attorney general have said there were no problems on a scale that would change the outcome. All the states have certified their results as fair and accurate, by Republican and Democratic officials alike.

If removed, Trump would be replaced by Vice President Mike Pence for the remainder of the term.

Some politicians have come to Trump’s defence despite the turmoil that played out on Wednesday. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said in the House Chamber that Trump “explicitly called for demonstrations and protests to be peaceful.”

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The president did not outright ask his supporters to leave the Capitol building until after damage had been done.

There have been questions around whether Trump is still calling the shots.

Reports suggest he resisted efforts to bring in the National Guard to quell the chaos at the Capitol, and that it wasn’t until White House officials intervened for “the sake of the country” that the president relented.

Trump, who has been vocal on social media throughout his presidency, lost access to his Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts after “repeated and severe violations of” the companies’ policies.

“This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked,” Twitter explained.