Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14) and Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10) have both called for the removal of President Donald Trump from office, saying that he “incited” a violent mob’s storming of the United States Capitol during a joint session of Congress.
Underwood, who was recently re-elected to office after defeating Republican challenger Jim Oberweis, said that the president’s removal must be “immediate” after Wednesday’s violence in the capital.
“Today’s violent, treasonous attack on the United States Congress was incited by the president of the United States,” she said. “By his own admission, he sought to overturn an election and the will of the American people. Our democracy is at stake, and we cannot wait until Inauguration Day to see him removed from office. It must be immediate.”
Schneider also called for Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to removed Trump from office.
“If Mr. Trump will not step up to the task of leading our nation as President, then he should immediately step down,” Schneider said in a statement. “If he will neither lead nor step down, then he has proven himself ‘unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,’ and it is therefore necessary that the Vice President immediately invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.”
Some elected officials, including Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, have called for Trump to be impeached and removed from office, thereby barring him from seeking federal office again. Rep. Ilhan Omar has announced she will draft articles of impeachment against the president, who was previously acquitted of impeachment charges early in 2020.
According to NBC News, multiple sources have told the news agency that there have been “informal discussions” within the Trump administration of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would involve Vice President Mike Pence and members of the president’s Cabinet determining that he is unfit to continue in his role.
In that scenario, the president could then reject the decision, which would force the administration officials to acquiesce, in which case he would regain the power of the office, do nothing, which would allow him to regain power after a period of four days, or present their case to Congress, which could then either vote to uphold the decision, restore the president to power, or do nothing, thereby effectively ending his term two weeks before Jan. 20.
The rumblings in Washington come after a violent group stormed the United States Capitol on Wednesday during a joint session of Congress. Lawmakers were forced to retreat to their offices and other secure spaces in the Capitol complex, and violent demonstrators made their way through the building, causing damage, storing into offices and even making it to the floors of both the House and the Senate, where they were photographed by reporters on the scene.
Numerous officials blamed the president for instigating the violent mob, as the president had spoken to protesters and encouraged them to march to the Capitol prior to the attack.
In the aftermath of the attack, lawmakers resumed their joint session on Wednesday to certify the electoral college votes that will official designate Joe Biden as the president-elect and allow him to take the oath of office on Jan. 20.
Some lawmakers who had planned to object to the vote counting, including Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn and Indiana Sen. Mike Braun, dropped those plans, while others, including Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, said they would move ahead with their objections.