Democrats from New York call for Trump's immediate removal after Capitol insurgence
After a day of chaos in Washington, D.C., U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said Thursday that President Donald Trump should not serve out the rest of his term and should be immediately removed from office by Vice President Mike Pence and the president’s Cabinet.
Schumer, who’s set to become the next leader of the Senate after Democrats pulled off a pair of wins in Georgia this week, said Congress should step in if Pence does not act.
“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.
“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.”
The statement follows calls from other Democrats in Congress for Trump to be removed from office after this week’s events in Washington, where a group of the president’s supporters broke into the U.S. Capitol and occupied the building for several hours.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, another Democrat from the Bronx and a favorite target of conservatives, was among several federal lawmakers who’ve now called for Trump’s immediate removal.
In a tweet, Ocasio-Cortez said Thursday that Congress should immediately begin impeachment proceedings if Trump’s cabinet does not remove him from office.
“If the 25th Amendment is not invoked today, Congress must reconvene immediately for impeachment and removal proceedings," Ocasio-Cortez said.
Rep. Joe Morelle, a Democrat from Irondequoit, said the president’s “actions and rhetoric demonstrate clearly that he is unfit for the office of the presidency.”
“Not only do they merit his impeachment,” Morelle said in a statement, “but I fully support invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the clear and present danger that he presents to our nation.”
Morelle, saying Trump must be held accountable for his actions, is also urging the Justice Department to begin an investigation into “crimes of sedition and treason.”
“Donald Trump must be tried as a private citizen without the shield of the presidency to prevent him from bearing the full consequences of his actions,” Morelle said.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez, another Democrat from New York City, called Trump “unhinged and unfit,” and made the same call for the president’s removal.
“I believe it is long overdue to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office,” Velazuez said. “He is dangerously unhinged and unfit.”
Rep. Paul Tonko, a Democrat from Albany, also threw his support behind the immediate removal of Trump from office, saying the insurgence at the U.S. Capitol was a direct result of the president’s rhetoric over the last four years, and his more recent claims of election fraud.
“For the safety of our people, republic, our laws and our Constitution, Congress must adopt articles of impeachment and remove Donald Trump from office immediately,” Tonko said.
In the lower Hudson Valley, freshman Rep. Jamaal Bowman also called for Trump’s removal. He said Democrats should reconvene immediately and consider articles of impeachment, which had already been introduced Thursday by Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota.
“We should not be adjourned,” Bowman tweeted. “We must reconvene to proceed with articles of impeachment immediately.”
Republicans from New York’s delegation in Congress have widely condemned the insurgence at the U.S. Capitol, but have sided against an immediate removal of Trump from office.
Rep. John Katko, a Republican from the Syracuse area, strongly criticized Trump and said he was ready for the president to leave office. He said there likely wasn’t enough time to remove him, regardless of method, but that he was ready for the next administration.
“By repeating disproven claims about election malfeasance, President Trump incited and encouraged this unlawful, unpatriotic attack,” Katko said. “And in response, he doubled down on those false claims and issued a half-hearted rebuke.”
“His conduct was completely reprehensible. I think when Jan. 20th comes, America will be happy and I will be happy."
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also addressed Wednesday's violence. During a conference call on the state’s efforts on the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, he laid the blame squarely on Trump.
Cuomo, a Democrat, said the president “preyed on people’s fears” and appealed to their “worst human instincts.”
“It was an explosion of hate created over four years,” Cuomo said. “That’s his legacy.”
Dan Clark is host/producer of New York Now.
WXXI reporter James Brown contributed to this report.