On November 8, 2016, Mr. Trump was elected President in the largest Electoral College landslide for a Republican in 28 years. President Trump has delivered historic results in his first term in office despite partisan gridlock in the Nation’s Capital, and resistance from special interests and the Washington Establishment.
He passed record-setting tax cuts and regulation cuts, achieved energy independence, replaced NAFTA with the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, invested $2 trillion to completely rebuild the Military, launched the Space Force, obliterated the ISIS Caliphate, achieved a major breakthrough for peace in the Middle East, passed the most significant Veterans Affairs reforms in half a century, confirmed over 250 federal judges, including 2 Supreme Court Justices, signed bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform, lowered drug prices, protected Medicare and Social Security, and secured our nation’s borders. To vanquish the COVID-19 global pandemic, President Trump launched the greatest national mobilization since World War II.
Democracies around the world, those established and those fledgling, could only look on in horror at the televised images of a pro- Trump mob storming the august American center of government, crowding its balustrades, smashing windows, flooding into its statuary hall. Armed but outnumbered security forces barricading themselves with weapons drawn, firing teargas and hustling members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence to safety.
And, in an iconic image of pure insurrection, a smug protester sitting in the president’s chair in the evacuated Senate Chamber. There will be time to investigate and understand how authorities were so unprepared for this rush of rioters and so slow to regain control of the Capitol.
Most of them were Democrats, however, with Republicans apparently much more supportive of Trump serving out the final days of his term, which ends on Jan. 20. The national public opinion survey, conducted Thursday and Friday, also showed that seven out of 10 of those who voted for Trump in November opposed the action of the hardcore supporters who broke into the Capitol while lawmakers were meeting to certify the election victory of Democrat Joe Biden.
At a rally earlier in the day, Trump had exhorted thousands of his followers to march to the Capitol. The chaos on Capitol Hill, in which a police officer and four others died, has been widely condemned by both Democrats and Republicans.
“I think we’ve got to hold our breath for the next 20 days,” Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, another prominent Trump critic, told reporters on Wednesday evening after the Capitol had been secured. After the House and Senate formalized President-elect Joe Biden's win in the Nov. 3 election early Thursday, Trump called for a “smooth” transition of power, in a jarring message shift.
At a news conference earlier Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he did not support removing Trump and dismissed impeachment as “political talk.” It was an explicit use of violence “to coerce a political outcome” that Trump and his supporters failed to achieve through the democratic process, said Michel Paradise, an adjunct professor at Columbia University law school and a senior attorney for the Department of Defense.
The amendment, ratified in 1967, created a legal mechanism for designating a head of state when the president is disabled or dead. “What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president,” Schumer said in a statement Thursday morning.
“It's a dereliction of duty and responsibility that would suggest a president who is not dealing with the fundamental problems of the country,” Bernstein said during a briefing hosted by a task force on election crises. Over the last 24 hours, a growing number of Democrats drafted or endorsed articles of impeachment to remove Trump from office.
“The president's conduct in inciting the criminal activity (that occurred during Wednesday's riot) undoubtedly ... qualifies as a high crime and misdemeanor,” Ned Foley, a law professor at Ohio State University, said in referring to the two triggers for impeachment proceedings. Foley noted that impeachment would also bar Trump from holding public office again, presumably a benefit to critics who think he is unfit and fear he will run again in 2024.
Congress is no longer in session, and lawmakers are unlikely to embrace a return for such charged proceedings, no matter how much they are worried about the president's potential to cause additional chaos in the coming days. Plus, he noted, Department of Justice policy generally holds that a sitting president is immune from criminal charges while in office.
“But sedition is a complicated crime and ... it has a kind of ugly use in American history for political opponents, so I think we would want to be careful about going down that road.” Gupta said Trump could potentially be ousted under a provision of the 14th Amendment that bars individuals who engage in insurrection against the Constitution of the United States from holding office.
“If Trump just went to Florida and played golf and didn't get any briefings,” Foley said, it could fall to Pence or the White House chief of staff to informally take the reins for the executive branch until Jan. 20 without invoking a messy formal process to strip him of his powers. The editorial board of USA Today called Thursday for President Donald Trump ’s removal from office through the 25th Amendment, condemning him for inciting Wednesday’s violent assault on the U.S. Capitol.
“By egging on this deadly insurrection and hailing the rioters (‘We love you, you’re very special’), the president forfeited his moral authority to hold the nation’s highest office, even for 13 more days,” the publication’s editorial board wrote. “More urgent, he reinforced profound questions, and raised new ones, about his judgment and ability to fulfill his most minimal responsibilities to the country he is supposed to lead and protect.
USA Today joined the editorial boards of other newspapers, including The Washington Post and Miami Herald, as well as many Democratic lawmakers and some Republicans, in calling for Trump ’s removal through the 25th Amendment. Democratic leaders in Congress indicated earlier Thursday that if Trump is not removed via the 25th Amendment immediately, they are prepared to move forward with impeachment.
“Could you please step down and let our country heal?” tweeted Russell Moore, who heads the Southern Baptist Convention's public policy arm. The Republican senator had been helping the president's effort to overturn the election until this week, when Trump incited a mob attack on Congress.
Dominion Voting Systems seeks $1.3 billion for the “unprecedented harm” it says Powell brought on by accusing the firm of rigging the 2020 election.