After today’s violent scenes on Capitol Hill, US Members of Congress and Governors across both sides of the aisle are now calling for Donald Trump to be removed from office either through impeachment or by invoking the 25th Amendment.
Two weeks before the key date when President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are set to be sworn into office, numerous members of Congress, governors, and other high-profile pollies are calling for Trump’s impeachment, or for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the fourth section of the 25th Amendment to have Trump removed from the helm.
The 25th Amendment provides an opportunity for a president to be removed from the top job in government, and for the vice president to take their place until a new president is decided and sworn in, whereas impeachment allows the House of Representatives to charge an official of the federal government by approving impeachment materials with a majority vote.
Here’s how either one could work.
Invoking The 25th Amendment
Democratic Congress members and representatives Lucy McBath, Lori Trahan, Sylvia Garcia, Ted Lieu, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Cori Bush – among others – took to Twitter in the aftermath of the chaos to demand Mike Pence step up and force Trump’s removal.
CNN also reported that many Republican leaders – who remained anonymous – have echoed the calls for the 25th Amendment to be enacted.
If it happens, this will be the first time in United States history that a sitting president has been removed from office using the 25th Amendment – the first time since it was enacted in 1967, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 6, 2021
Tonight, I am asking Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and begin the process of removing President Trump from office.
— Rep. Lucy McBath (@RepLucyMcBath) January 7, 2021
I am calling on Vice President Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment and protect our country.
Enough is enough.
— Rep. Sylvia Garcia (@RepSylviaGarcia) January 7, 2021
This is on Donald Trump, period. He called folks to D.C. and gave them marching orders. He needs to be impeached and removed immediately.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) January 6, 2021
Donald Trump is directly responsible for the attack on the Capitol. He’s unfit to serve a second more as President or ever hold office again.
He should resign immediately. If not, his cabinet should invoke the 25th Amendment. If they are too cowardly, Congress must impeach him.
— Congresswoman Lori Trahan (@RepLoriTrahan) January 7, 2021
As a member of @HouseJudiciary, I am calling for the immediate impeachment of Donald Trump & his removal from office. I’m also calling for the expulsion of @GOP members of Congress complicit in inciting the attack on our nation’s Capitol.
Their actions must have consequences.
— Congresswoman Cori Bush (@RepCori) January 7, 2021
The 25th Amendment allows for the removal of a President. It's time to remove the President.
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) January 6, 2021
On top of this, the National Association of Manufacturers – who is one of Trump’s big business supporters – has also called upon Pence to work with the Cabinet to have Trump removed from office before January 20.
The National Association of Manufacturers calls on Pence to "seriously consider" working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment "to preserve democracy." pic.twitter.com/3S3QhqszQu
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) January 6, 2021
So if the current Cabinet does move to remove Trump from office ahead of Biden being sworn in, what needs to happen?
Firstly, Vice President Mike Pence must agree to invoke the 25th Amendment. From there, a majority of the United States Cabinet or another body like Congress or a Congress-approved group must draft up and sign a letter to be handed to the President pro tempore of the Senate (currently Republican senator Chuck Grassley) and the Speaker of the House (currently Nancy Pelosi).
From there, it could become a tussle as the President then has the ability to challenge with their own letter, which gives the Vice President and Congress a further four days to deliver another challenge. Congress must then gather with 48 hours and deliver a vote within 21 days.
The Impeachment Process
Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Chuy García have called for Trump’s impeachment once again, which means he would face a trial held by the Senate.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 7, 2021
Donald Trump encouraged a violent assault on the US Capitol to prevent Congress from exercising our constitutional duties. I voted to impeach Trump once before, and I would do it again. He should be removed immediately.
— Congressman Chuy García (@RepChuyGarcia) January 7, 2021
Pres. Trump lit the match that started an attempted coup in the Capitol. Congress must immediately impeach and remove this dangerous man from office.
He is a threat to our national security and I support the Cabinet invoking the 25th amendment.
— Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (@chelliepingree) January 7, 2021
Minnesota’s representative Ilhan Omar also confirmed that she has begun writing up articles of impeachment, tweeting that US representatives need to “fulfill our oath” of preserving the republic.
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
If an impeachment of Trump is enacted, a committee of representatives will act as prosecutors to the Senate (who acts as the High Court of Impeachment) and the chief justice of the United States (currently John Roberts).
Evidence is presented and witnesses are heard, and the Senate then has the ability vote to either acquit or convict Trump for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours”. If two-thirds of the Senate vote to impeach, he’ll be removed from office with no ability to appeal.
It’s important to note that Trump was previously impeached back in December 2019, but was acquitted in February 2020.
At the time of writing, it has also been reported that Trump Cabinet secretaries are discussing invoking the 25th Amendment, but nothing has yet been presented to Pence to put the wheels in motion.
JUST IN: “This is not news we deliver lightly,” @margbrennan says as she reports: Trump Cabinet secretaries are discussing invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump. Nothing formal yet presented to VP Pence.
“I’m talking about actual members of the Cabinet,” she says
— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) January 7, 2021
It’s a mess, but it could happen, considering Trump’s track record for top-tier tantrums. We’ll keep you updated.