New York Senator Chuck Schumer called for President Donald Trump to be removed from office immediately, calling him “dangerous” and ultimately responsible for the violent mob that stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.
“The President promoted conspiracy theories that motivated these thugs. He exhorted them to come to our nation's capital. He told them to march down Pennsylvania Avenue,” said Schumer, the incoming Senate Majority Leader, at a press conference in midtown Manhattan Thursday.
“I believe the President is dangerous and should not hold office one day longer. He may have only 13 days left as President. But yesterday demonstrated that each and every one of those days is a threat to democracy, so long as he is in power,” Schumer said.
Goaded by Trump’s lies that he won the election, a mob of pro-Trump rioters stormed past law enforcement officers into the Capitol on Wednesday as lawmakers in the House and Senate were meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden's presidential victory. "We’re going to walk down and I’ll be there with you. We’re going to walk down to the Capitol," Trump told supporters at the Stop the Steal rally outside the White House just before the riot, which soon drove lawmakers into hiding, fearing for their safety.
Schumer and House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi called Vice President Mike Pence Thursday morning to speak to him about invoking the 25th Amendment to declare Trump unfit for power -- but Pence never took the call, Schumer said.
“They kept us on hold for 25, minutes, and then said the vice president wouldn't come on the phone,” Schumer said. “So we are making this call public because he should do it and do it right away.”
If Pence refuses to invoke the 25th Amendment, Schumer said he’s ready to begin impeachment proceedings instead.
“If the Vice President and the cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president, plain and simple,” Schumer said. “We don't need a lengthy debate.”
Pelosi also vowed to begin impeachment proceedings in the House: “While it’s only 13 days left, any day can be a horror show for America,” Pelosi said.
Congress, which has recessed until January 19th, should come back immediately, Schumer added.
“Congress should come back in session immediately and impeach the president, get him out of office now,” Schumer said.
One last bit of business, Schumer said, was ensuring that Trump never holds elected office again. “There's a charge that allows the Congress to say he can never run for office again, that should be invoked as well,” Schumer said.