Sen. Chuck Schumer, who will soon be majority leader, believes that President Donald Trump should be removed from office using the 25th Amendment. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, whose is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, resigned citing Trump’s role in instigating his supporters to storm the US Capitol on Wednesday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that if Trump is not removed from office using the 25th Amendment, the House will move to impeach him.
McConnell, who has partnered with Trump to reshape the federal judiciary, forcefully rebuked him on Wednesday — twice — and shot down Republican objections to counting electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden.
If there were going to be a Cabinet member who would help generate support for Trump’s ouster using the 25th Amendment, it might have been McConnell’s wife, Chao.
So her departure from the Cabinet dims the likelihood of using the amendment to remove Trump, who is increasingly isolated in these final days of his term but still, as many have pointed out, has access to the nuclear codes.
Chao’s resignation isn’t effective until Monday, but any effort to protect the country from these last days of Trump would probably have to go through the Congress via a lightning-quick impeachment process — Trump’s second — as Pelosi suggested.
It’s possible, according to a report from CNN’s Manu Raju, Lauren Fox and Phil Mattingly, for Democrats to bypass a trial like the one they conducted over Trump’s abuse of power on Ukraine in 2019 and instead impeach the President in a resolution.
But removing Trump would require a two-thirds vote by the Senate, which is currently in recess until after Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
There is an argument that an impeachment could be continued after Trump leaves office — and, potentially, that it’s even more valuable than removing him by amendment because it would bar him from holding public office in the future (like, in 2024).
Does the next president want his first 100 days to be about Trump’s last two weeks?
In the 25th Amendment scenario, Bolton suggested you could end up with Trump and Pence dueling over who has power as president: “Do you think Donald Trump will back down when he gets a letter from Mike Pence?
It’s clear there’s bipartisan disgust with Trump’s fomenting the angry mob that attacked the Capitol on Wednesday.
Former DHS Secretary and White House chief of staff John Kelly said he’d vote to remove Trump from office if he were still at the White House.