In the aftermath of Wednesday's violence, reports surfaced about the possibility of President Trump being removed from office through the 25th Amendment. Now, the top two Democrats in Congress have publicly backed the idea, as has a Republican lawmaker. All three accused the president of inciting a riot. Details, including what's involved in invoking the amendment:
- Pelosi: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday afternoon that if Trump is not removed via the 25th Amendment, Congress might get involved. "If the vice president and the Cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment," Pelosi said, per Politico.
- Schumer: Pelosi's remarks echo ones earlier in the day from Chuck Schumer, who is poised to become Senate majority leader. "This president should not hold office one day longer," said Schumer, per NBC News. “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,” he said. Barring that, Congress should impeach, he added.
- First Republican: Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois on Thursday became the first Republican lawmaker to back the idea of using the 25th Amendment, reports the Hill. Kinzinger, described as a centrist, tweeted a video with his views. "The president caused this," he said. "The president is unfit and the president is unwell. And the president now must relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntarily."
- The amendment: As spelled out in the 25th Amendment, if the vice president and at least half of the president's Cabinet deem a president unfit for office, they inform Congress, explains NPR. The process isn't immediate. Trump could contest, which would drag out the period of congressional investigation for longer than the two weeks left in Trump's term. However, in that interim, Trump would not have the authority to act as president, Constitution expert Kim Wehle tells the outlet.
(One Cabinet member has announced her imminent resignation