WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) – After the storm, angry supporters of the elected US president Donald Trump at the Capitol in Washington, the leading Democrats in Congress have called for an immediate ousting of the Republican. House Chairwoman Nancy Pelosi and Senate Supreme Democrat Chuck Schumer called on incumbent US Vice President Mike Pence and cabinet members to seek an impeachment based on Amendment 25 of the US Constitution. Otherwise, Congress could initiate a regular impeachment process, threatened Pelosi – it would be the second for Trump. Individual Republicans also spoke out in favor of removing Trump early.
Trump had already had to face regular impeachment proceedings in Congress during his tenure: last February, he was acquitted by the majority of his Republicans in the Senate. Trump would be the first US president to face two such trials. The activation of the 25th Amendment has never happened before.
Pelosi called Trump a “dangerous man” and warned that he could do further damage in his remaining days in office. “It’s only 13 days now, but any day can be a horror show for America.” Schumer also warned: “This president should not hold office for a day longer.” He made the most serious allegations Trump with a view to the riots on Wednesday: “What happened yesterday in the US Capitol was an uprising against the United States, incited by the President.”
A mob of angry Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in the US capital in an unprecedented escalation of violence after the US President incited them at a mass rally. At the seat of Congress, the results of the US presidential election – in which Trump clearly lost to Biden – should be confirmed. Four people died in partly unexplained circumstances, and dozen were arrested.
US media reported on Wednesday evening (local time) that individual cabinet members had already discussed the removal of the president under Article 25. In addition to a regular impeachment process, as Trump already had to endure because of allegations of abuse of power in the Ukraine affair, there is a faster way to remove a US president from office: Amendment 25 of the constitution allows the president for to declare “unable to exercise the rights and duties of office”.
Such a declaration must be made by the Vice-President and a majority of key cabinet members and then reported to Congress. A legal opinion from 1985 interpreted 15 ministerial posts as part of this group. If the president objects, the two chambers in Congress – the Senate and the House of Representatives – must approve the impeachment with a two-thirds majority. It would take large sections of the Republicans in Congress to achieve these majorities.
This section has never been used in US history. Legal experts have so far assumed that it could be used primarily in the event of physical or mental health emergencies of the president. During Trump’s term of office, however, the possibility was also discussed more frequently in the event of content-related controversies.
As the first Republican MP, Adam Kinzinger, who recently repeatedly criticized Trump, called for the president to be removed from office with the help of the constitutional amendment. The cabinet and the vice president would have to act to end “this nightmare”. Instead of protecting America, Trump incited violence.
Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan also supported this. “I think there is no question that America would be better off if the president resigned or was removed from office,” Hogan said Thursday. “Enough is enough. Enough of lies. Enough of hate. Enough of total dysfunction.”
President-elect Joe Biden described the violent storm of the Capitol as “one of the darkest days in the history” of the United States. The attackers were not demonstrators, but “domestic terrorists”.
Several Republicans openly accused Trump of instigating the outbreak of violence. As the first cabinet member, Transport Minister Elaine Chao announced her resignation in response to the riots. Chao is the wife of Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Trump’s former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney also resigned from the post of Northern Ireland Commissioner in protest. Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger also dropped.
The protests of Trump’s supporters on Wednesday were directed against the official certification of the presidential election result in Congress. The two Congress Chambers had to interrupt their deliberations for several hours because of the riots, but demonstratively came together again on Wednesday evening (local time) to finish their work and confirm Biden’s election victory. Trump then finally announced that he would no longer block himself from handing over official duties on January 20. At the same time, however, Trump reiterated that he did not agree with the outcome of the election.
The unprecedented chaos in Washington marked the dramatic end of a campaign by Trump against the election result. The Republican had lost the election in early November by a clear margin to his Democratic challenger Biden. Trump refused to admit his defeat, claiming that massive electoral fraud had robbed him of a clear victory. However, neither he nor his lawyers provided any solid evidence. Dozens of lawsuits from the Trump camp have been thrown out of the courts. In just under two weeks, on January 20, Biden is to be sworn in ./jac/so/cy/scb/jbz/DP/he