After an extraordinary day of violence and political discord in the nation’s capital, at least two governors and a growing list of civic leaders are calling for Donald Trump’s immediate removal from office even though the President only has two weeks left to serve after he failed to win reelection.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Democrat of Illinois, and Gov. Phil Scott, Republican from Vermont, issued public statements calling for Trump’s ouster as a matter of public safety. Some have called for immediate impeachment proceedings while others suggest invoking the emergency protections of the 25th amendment.
“There is no question in my mind that his efforts to encourage a coup represent high treason to this democracy, our Constitution and all Americans. He poses a danger to our nation,” Pritzker said in a statement. “This violence is the natural conclusion of Donald Trump’s efforts to unleash the forces of hate and divide our nation. It must end.”
On “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said “there are serious discussions right now about what will happen to this President.”
The Baltimore Sun editorial board issued a scathing editorial laying blame for the violence that claimed at least one life on Wednesday at the feet of President Donald Trump and his maniacal effort to hold on to power.
“Make no mistake: The surreal scene at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday that temporarily shut down the Electoral College vote count and led to at least one death was directly brought on by Donald Trump,” the Sun editorial board wrote. “He’s responsible for every critically injured person, every terrorized police officer and every single broken window caused by the violent mob of his so-called supporters. The president of the United States incited this riot.”
The Washington Post called Trump “unfit to remain in office” even for 14 days. “Every second he retains the vast powers of the presidency is a threat to public order and national security,” the Post editorial board wrote.
From the Washington Post Editorial Board:
Trump caused the assault on the Capitol. He must be removed. https://t.co/ZPHJGvmdTP pic.twitter.com/T9wqtBwJBx
— Washington Post Opinions (@PostOpinions) January 7, 2021
Jay Timmons, head of the National Assn. of Manufacturers trade group, urged Vice President Mike Pence, who was wrapped up in Wednesday’s drama as Trump publicly urged him to impede the certification process, to “seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy.”
At least 40 Democrats in the House have been on record in recent days of the imperative to remove Trump from power.
Among the most damning condemnations of Trump came from his former Defense Secretary James Mattis. Mattis had a famously rocky relationship with Trump before he left the administration in December 2018.
“Today’s violent assault on our Capitol, an effort to subjugate American democracy by mob rule, was fomented by Mr. Trump,” Mattis told Politico. “His use of the Presidency to destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens has been enabled by pseudo political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice.”
Political experts said the realistic chance of removing Trump from the White House with only two weeks left on his term is slim. But the fact that such a step was discussed at all was another sign of the desperation that is marking the waning weeks of the Trump administration.