President Donald Trump came under mounting pressure Thursday after inciting a mob of protesters who stormed the U.S. Capitol — facing calls to resign or for Vice President Mike Pence to undertake extraordinary constitutional moves to oust him from office.
Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, called for Pence and the Trump Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, which provides an avenue for the president to be removed. Other members of congress echoed him, including Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, a staunch Trump critic.
Meanwhile, resignations continue to mount, including Trump’s former chief of staff and special envoy to Northern Ireland, Mick Mulvaney, and the head of his council of economic advisers. In an apparent bid to quell the outcry, Trump issued a statement overnight committing to an “orderly transition.”
Others have said they’ll stay, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Mnuchin and his senior staff at the agency have agreed they will remain in their jobs to ensure an orderly transition amid the pandemic-induced economic crisis, according to one person familiar with the matter.
QuickTake: Why Trump, Yet Again, Prompts Talk of 25th Amendment
Schumer called for invoking the 25th amendment Thursday — and, barring that, said Congress should reconvene to impeach Trump.
“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.
Three Democratic members of the House judiciary committee — David Cicilline, Ted Lieu and Jamie Raskin — said Thursday they are circulating articles of impeachment of Trump over the Jan. 6 riots.
The articles say that Trump’s effort to subvert the election and incite the mob “has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office.”
The articles would bar Trump from holding public office, ending any hope of returning to the White House through the 2024 elections.
Kinzinger said Trump “barely” denounced the violence. “All indications are that the president has become unmoored, not just from his duty or even his oath but from reality itself,” he said.
Former Republican Congressman Justin Amash also said Trump should quit or be removed. Several Democratic senators said the same, including Sherrod Brown, Bob Casey and Ron Wyden.
Financial markets have largely shrugged off the turmoil in Washington, with investors focused on the prospect for a major new round of Covid-19 relief spending after President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
U.S. stocks pared gains Wednesday after news of the violence, and resumed their rally Thursday. The S&P 500 Index was up 1.3% at 1:27 p.m. in New York, heading for a record close. Ten-year Treasury yields were at 1.08% and hit their highest since March.
Trump has no public events scheduled Thursday, and is set to spend the weekend at Camp David. He remains frozen out by social media firms — Facebook Inc. announced that it was indefinitely extending its freeze of his accounts for at least two weeks.
The Department of Justice was set to announce charges Thursday against some participants in the mob, while police in Washington were moving forward with investigations of their own. Trump told the crowd he loved them and understood why they were protesting.
Former Attorney General William Barr joined in criticizing Trump, telling the Associated Press that “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable.”
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf called on “the president and all elected officials to strongly condemn the violence that took place yesterday,” but said he wouldn’t step down before inauguration on Jan. 20.
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