President Donald Trump faces the threat of a second impeachment, a day after his supporters breached the U.S. Capitol in a stunning assault on American democracy as Congress was certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Congressional Democrats on Friday were weighing impeaching Trump if Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s Cabinet did not invoke the Constitution’s 25th Amendment, which allows them to strip the president of his powers if he cannot discharge the duties of his office. Pence opposes the idea, an adviser said.
“The president’s dangerous and seditious acts necessitate his immediate removal from office,” House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democratic leaders said in a statement, accusing Trump of inciting an “insurrection.”
Amid mounting calls for his removal from office, Trump finally denounced Wednesday’s violence that left five people dead, including a police officer. In a video released on Thursday evening, the Republican president also promised a smooth and orderly transition of power later this month, though he stopped short of abandoning his claims of fraud.
Just a day earlier, Trump had told supporters: “We love you. You’re very special,” as he urged them to go home after they broke into the Capitol.
In his remarks on Thursday, the president said: “We have just been through an intense election, and the emotions are high, but now tempers must be cooled and calm restored.
“We must get on with the business of America,” Trump, a Republican, added, adopting a conciliatory tone seldom seen from the mercurial president.
The statement was a stark reversal for Trump, who has spent months insisting he prevailed in the November 3 election, alleging widespread fraud despite no evidence.