- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 7, 2021

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, on Thursday became the highest-ranking official to call for President Trump to be immediately ousted from office after Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol.

The New York Democrat said Vice President Mike Pence should use the 25th Amendment’s process for declaring the president incapacitated, but if he won’t, Congress should begin impeachment proceedings.

Mr. Trump is already going to be departing on Jan. 20 when his term ends, but Mr. Schumer said “this president should not hold office one day longer.

“The quickest and most effective way — it can be done today — to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th Amendment,” he said. “If the vice president and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.”

Senators finished up business early Thursday morning and scheduled a long break, planning to reconvene just before the inauguration.

Mr. Pence expressed deep frustration with Mr. Trump on Wednesday after pro-Trump demonstrators assaulted the Capitol as Mr. Pence was leading Congress in counting electoral votes. But there is no public indication Mr. Pence has suggested using the 25th Amendment.

Mr. Schumer joins a growing number of Democrats — and now even a Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger — in demanding the 25th Amendment be used.

That amendment allows a president to voluntarily declare himself incapacitated and take a brief leave from flexing the powers of the top executive. But it also includes a provision — which has never been used — that allows the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to temporarily take away the president’s powers.

Such a declaration could, though, be challenged by the president, and such a dispute would end up being judged by Capitol Hill.

Legal experts say the amendment was aimed at times of medical incapacitation, not for purposes of a failing or unpopular president.

Democrats favoring the option, however, say Mr. Trump’s behavior surrounding the attack on the Capitol show him to be mentally unfit to execute the duties of the presidency.

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