SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – The violence at the nation’s Capitol on Wednesday is fueling bipartisan efforts to have President Trump removed from office – on grounds that he incited the events that took place.
Bay Area lawmakers are calling to start the impeachment process or to invoke the 25th Amendment.
“This was being encouraged by the President of the United States himself,” Representative Jared Huffman said.
“Donald Trump was creating chaos like he has for the last four years and he was telling his supporters to do what they did,” Representative Barbara Lee said.
Bay Area lawmakers reacting to the violence that erupted at the nation’s capitol Wednesday afternoon, as they discuss having President Donald Trump removed from office.
From storming into the Capitol building and vandalizing property inside to sitting at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s podium in the House Chamber, Trump supporters stopped at nothing on Wednesday to disrupt the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the general elections.
“I actually wore tennis shoes yesterday, because I knew, based on social media and based on the threats that were out there, I assumed that something was going to take place,” Lee said.
The chaos began after President Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani incited the rioters at a rally earlier that day, push false claims of election fraud, encouraged them to head to the capitol building.
“I knew that this crowd had been whipped into a lather over the course of days and weeks by Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani and others,” Huffman said.
This isn’t the first time lawmakers tried removing Trump from office.
The House impeached him back in 2020 when they accused him of soliciting foreign interference into the 2020 election.
In the last 24 hours, lawmakers are coming together again to lay the groundwork to effectively remove him from office – either by way of impeachment or the 25th Amendment.
“Yes I support another impeachment, remember he’s an impeached president, another impeachment. But also the 25th Amendment which I signed onto years ago in terms of Congressman Jamie Raskin’s amendment that needs to be prepared for the 25th amendment to kick in because he is unfit to serve the last few weeks of his presidency,” Lee said.
Representative Jared Huffman believes both mechanisms may be necessary.
“We have to pursue impeachment, even if the 25th Amendment is triggered. The reason is this, we have seen so clearly now, just laid bare for the whole world, is that Trump is a criminal and a seditionist,” Huffman said.
Representative Zoe Lofgren is also onboard.
“I think that the President has indicated through is behavior that he is a threat to the security of this country. He incited these rioters. I don’t think he’s got a grip on reality. And it concerns me a great deal that the most powerful man in the world is living in an alternate reality,” Lofgren said.
Representative Eric Swalwell echoes his colleague’s sentiments saying, “President Trump can no longer defend our country or her ideals. Every second he is in power is a risk to everyone’s personal security and our country’s democratic ideals.”
Members of the house have already started drafting new articles of impeachment.
“The vice president can invoke the 25th Amendment today and if the cabinets votes he’s going and they should do it now,” Senator Chuck Schumer said.
“I join the Senate Democratic Leader in calling on the vice president to remove this president by immediately invoking the 25th Amendment if they don’t act then Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment,” Representative Nancy Pelosi said.
While most Republicans oppose any form of removal, one Republican has made it clear, he too is on board.
“The president is unfit and unwell and the president must relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntarily,” Representative Adam Kinzinger said.
UC Berkeley political science professor Henry Brady says it’s unlikely there’s enough support from Republicans or even the vice president to carry out impeachment or the 25th Amendment.
Still he says the threat of it serves a key purpose.
“It’s more than symbolic, its an attempt at deterrence, congress saying you have gone over the line congress is upset and if you do anything more expect congress to come back at your hard and we are ready to do so and that is the message that is being sent,” Brady said.
While there’s less than two weeks left in Trump’s presidency, Brady says there’s still plenty of damage he can do.
“The can try to impose martial law or start a war if he thinks thats a way to put Biden in a fix,” Brady said.
So far, the president hasn’t commented on the idea of having him removed from office, nor is it clear whether the threat to remove him will keep him in check.