By JOHN SANTUCCI, KATHERINE FAULDERS, EMILY SHAPIRO, JONATHAN KARL and BENJAMIN SIEGEL, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — There have been discussions among some members of Donald Trump’s Cabinet and his allies over invoking the 25th Amendment, a potential vehicle for removing the president from office, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the discussions told ABC News.
It’s unclear how extensive these conversations have been or whether Vice President Mike Pence is supportive of such action. Many were horrified by Wednesday’s violence at the Capitol as well as Trump’s apparent lack of urgency in marshaling resources to stop the mob, the sources said.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., on Thursday became the first Republican to publicly call for the invocation of the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
The 25th Amendment, which was ratified in 1967 in the wake of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, lays out the procedures for replacing the president in the event of death, removal, resignation or incapacitation.
“The president not only abdicated his duty to protect the American people and the people’s house, he invoked and inflamed passions that gave fuel to the insurrection we saw here,” Kinzinger said in a video posted to Twitter. “When pressed to move and denounce the violence he barely did so, while of course victimizing himself … all indications are that the president has become unmoored, not just from his duty, or even his health, but from reality itself.”
“It is for this reason that I call for the vice president and members of the cabinet to ensure that the next few weeks are safe for the American people, and that we have a sane captain of the ship,” Kinzinger said.
Democrats are echoing those calls.
“This president should not hold office one day longer,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement Thursday. “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.”
Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., told “GMA3: What You Need to Know” on Thursday: “If we’re not going to use the 25th Amendment in this moment then I’m not clear what it’s really for.”
“It should be abundantly clear to leaders in the Republican Party that this president, who they have made excuses for, who they’ve coddled … the way that he has conducted himself has slowly and gradually built to what happened yesterday,” Coons said. “Removing Donald Trump as president is urgent.”
Since the election in November, Coons continued, Trump hasn’t been dealing with the pandemic. … He’s been tweeting and golfing and spinning up conspiracy theories. This man does not deserve to be president of the United States anymore.”
Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., tweeted Wednesday, “Trump is directly responsible for this insurrection and violence. He needs to be removed from office immediately. It is the Constitutional responsibility of Vice President Pence and the cabinet to exercise the power granted them by the 25th amendment.”
Trump is directly responsible for this insurrection and violence. He needs to be removed from office immediately. It is the Constitutional responsibility of Vice President Pence and the cabinet to exercise the power granted them by the 25th amendment.
— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) January 6, 2021
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., announced Wednesday that she was drawing up articles of impeachment, tweeting: “We can’t allow him to remain in office, it’s a matter of preserving our Republic and we need to fulfill our oath.”
I am drawing up Articles of Impeachment.
Donald J. Trump should be impeached by the House of Representatives & removed from office by the United States Senate.
We can’t allow him to remain in office, it’s a matter of preserving our Republic and we need to fulfill our oath.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 6, 2021
Other lawmakers also called for Trump’s removal from office.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 7, 2021
This is outrageous, and the president caused it. We should impeach and convict him tomorrow.
— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) January 6, 2021
Trump encouraged and incited the violence we are seeing at the Capitol today as Congress was in the process of carrying out a fundamental aspect of our peaceful transfer of power.
He deserves to be impeached tomorrow and should be barred from ever holding federal office again.
— Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) January 6, 2021
Donald J. Trump should immediately be impeached by the House of Representatives & removed from office by the United States Senate as soon as Congress reconvenes.
This is dangerous & unacceptable.
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) January 6, 2021
The President has been encouraging these domestic terrorists since before the election.
He could have stopped them at any moment, but instead he whipped them into a frenzy and sicced them on the Capitol.
The Cabinet must remove him today or the House must impeach.
— Rep. Jennifer Wexton (@RepWexton) January 6, 2021
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