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January 7, 2021 - The storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump has led to calls by some lawmakers to remove him from office.
After Trump rallied thousands of followers in Washington DC, who went on to storm the U.S. Capitol building, leading to the deaths of four people, there have been calls by some Democrat and Republican lawmakers to remove him from office before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20.
There are two methods by which to remove a president from office: the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution or impeachment followed by a Senate conviction. In either situation, Vice President Mike Pence would take over until Biden’s inauguration.
Option 1: According to insiders, there have been preliminary discussions among some Cabinet members and Trump allies about invoking the 25th Amendment, in particular Section 4 which addresses situations where a president is unable to do the job but does not step down voluntarily – possibly incapacitated by a physical or mental illness. Others argue that it could also apply to a president who is dangerously unfit for office.
Option 2: Impeachment, which would need the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress, to bring charges that a president engaged in a “high crimes and misdemeanors”. If a majority vote is achieved, it moves to the Senate, the upper chamber, which holds a trial to determine the president’s guilt. This verdict requires a two-thirds vote to convict and remove a president.
The 25th Amendment option would be the optimal way to remove Trump from office as it has the benefit of being quicker than impeachment. Trump only has two weeks left in office.
- Explainer – Can Trump be removed from office before his term ends on Jan 20? (Reuters)
- Some Democrats, Republicans and a lobby group is calling for Donald Trump to be removed from office before Joe Biden is sworn in. Can he be? (ABC News)
- Can Trump be removed from office before his term ends? (The Guardian)
- Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution (Wikipedia)