…then I’ll believe this is something other than positioning:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday called for Vice President Mike Pence and members of President Trump’s Cabinet to remove him from office via the 25th Amendment.
Why it matters: It’s a drastic demand by Democratic leadership, underscoring the severity of the situation after the insurrection at the Capitol on Wednesday. Some confidants and Republican officials have privately consider invoking the 25th Amendment, which has long been dismissed as a liberal fantasy.
- Schumer said that if the Cabinet does not exercise the 25th Amendment, Congress should reconvene to impeach and remove Trump. Pelosi said the House may consider that option. No president has ever been impeached twice.
- Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), a frequent critic of the president, became the first Republican in Congress to call for the 25th Amendment to be invoked on Thursday.
Where it stands: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) shared a screenshot of articles of impeachment that she said had “already been drafted” by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and “are ready for introduction.” More “members are signing on,” she said.
- Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Eric Swalwell and other Democrats announced their support of removing Trump from office on Thursday.
What they’re saying: “What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president. This president should not hold office one day longer,” Schumer said in a statement.
- “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,” he said.
- “If the vice president and Cabinet do not act, Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment. That is the overwhelming sentiment of my caucus and the American people, by the way,” Pelosi said, denouncing the siege of the Capitol as “acts of sedition and acts of cowardice.”
Of note: Congress is out of session until Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
And my cynical inner-voice says, “And Pence will pardon him.”