2021-01-07 05:45:38 UTC
After violent pro-Trump protesters stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, a
growing number of Republican leaders and Cabinet officials told CNN that they
believe Donald Trump should be removed from office before January 20. Four of
them called for the 25th Amendment to be invoked, and two others said the
President should be impeached.
"He has to be impeached and removed," said one current Republican elected
A former senior official said the President's actions were egregious enough to
remove him even with such a short time left in his tenure.
"I think this has been a huge shock to the system," said the former official.
"How do you keep him in place for two weeks after this?"
By impeaching and removing Trump, even at this late stage of his term, the
Senate could subsequently vote to disqualify Trump from ever holding federal
office again. On the other hand, invoking the 25th Amendment would require Vice
President Mike Pence and a majority of the Cabinet to vote to remove Trump from
office due to his inability to "discharge the powers and duties of his office"
-- an unprecedented step.
Some Cabinet members are holding preliminary discussions about invoking the 25th
Amendment, a well-placed GOP source told CNN.
The discussions are ongoing but it's unclear if there will be enough Cabinet
members to result in Trump's removal. The conversations have reached Capitol
Hill where some senators have been made aware of the discussions, the source
Within minutes of protestors breaching the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon,
Republicans were revisiting the idea of removing Trump from office, a choice
that nearly all of them passed on making a year ago during last year's
The forceful denunciations of Trump are also unprecedented. Former President
George W. Bush, who has kept a low profile, released a strongly-worded rebuke
Wednesday evening calling the "insurrection" at the Capitol a "sickening and
heartbreaking sight." While not mentioning Trump by name, Bush said he was
"appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election
and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and
our law enforcement."
Mitt Romney, the Utah senator who was the only Republican to vote to convict the
President on an article of impeachment last year, went further, calling the
President a "selfish man" who "deliberately misinformed his supporters" about
the election. Romney also called the attack on the Capitol an "insurrection" and
blamed Trump, saying he "stirred [supporters] to action this very morning.