Several members of Washington’s congressional delegation want President Donald Trump ousted after Wednesday’s violence at the U.S. Capitol delayed certification of his defeat in November’s presidential election. They join others in Congress, including Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who says impeachment is also an option.
Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Seattle, Rick Larsen of Everett and Suzan DelBene of Medina, and Sen. Patty Murray, all Democrats, each called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke powers laid out in the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to remove Trump.
Under the 25th Amendment, the vice president, with the backing of a majority of the Cabinet, can replace a sitting president. The president may appeal such a move to Congress.
“Donald Trump must be removed immediately. I’m calling on Vice President Pence and the Cabinet to put this country first and uphold their constitutional duty to invoke the 25th Amendment,” tweeted Jayapal, whose district includes Edmonds, Woodway and Shoreline. “We must hold the man who incited today’s dangerous assault on America fully.”
Larsen tweeted, “Trump has lost it,” and DelBene issued a statement saying the move is necessary “for the good of the country.”
By Thursday afternoon, Larsen joined the chorus of Democrats calling for impeachment. He wrote: “Last year, I voted to impeach the President Trump & I am prepared to vote again for articles of impeachment. However, after yesterday’s horrific events at the Capitol, President Trump must be removed from office immediately.”
Wednesday “was one of the darkest days in American history,” DelBene said. “He failed to repudiate the violence he started and refused to activate security forces to protect the U.S. Capitol. Consequently, he violated his oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Murray, a Whidbey Island resident and the longest-serving member of the federal delegation, said the “insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol today should be held fully accountable for their actions under the law. So should the President.”
“The most immediate way to ensure the President is prevented from causing further harm in coming days is to invoke the 25th Amendment,” Murray said in a statement.
Trump’s term ends Jan. 20, when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as president and vice president. In a statement Thursday, the sitting president promised an orderly transition.
Meanwhile, Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell issued a statement, as well: “Democracy prevails and endures. In the end, Congress respected the will of the American people and upheld the rule of law. I strongly condemn the violence and crimes that were committed today. I want to thank everyone who put their safety on the line to keep us safe. There must be accountability, and we must ensure it never happens again.”
Cantwell added on Thursday: “I supported impeaching the President before for his misuse of his office. And I will support impeachment again for abusing power and attempting to interfere in the election results in Georgia. Promulgating misinformation as he did yesterday about our election system is a threat to our democracy. He is failing to uphold our Constitution. I would also support his cabinet in their measures to remove him from office.”