House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., joined Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in calling for President Donald Trump to be removed from office after, she said, he “incited an armed insurrection against America,” referencing the siege on the U.S. Capitol carried out by a violent pro-Trump mob on Wednesday.
“The gleeful desecration of the U.S. Capitol, which is the temple of our American democracy, and the violence targeted Congress, are horrors that will forever stain our nation’s history, instigated by the president of the United States,” Pelosi said in a news conference. “In calling for this seditious act, the president has committed an unspeakable assault on our nation and our people.”
Pelosi called on Vice President Mike Pence to remove the president “by immediately invoking the 25th Amendment.” If the vice president and Cabinet do not act, she said, the Congress is prepared to move forward with impeachment — which would be the second of Trump’s presidency.
To be removed from office, though, a Senate majority would have to agree. Until the two new Democratic senators who won their runoff races in Georgia this week are sworn in later this month, Republicans still hold a small majority. The process would also likely be drawn out and not conclude before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office on Jan. 20, whereas Pence and a majority of Trump’s Cabinet could have him removed from power immediately, with Pence taking over the duties of the president.