Donald Trump could be kicked out of the White House early

Catriona Harvey-Jenner
·3-min read
Photo credit: Tasos Katopodis - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tasos Katopodis - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Yesterday, large swathes of pro-Trump rioters marched through Washington DC and stormed the lawmaking Capitol building. Inside, Congress was meeting to confirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, but the arrival of armed demonstrators violently disrupted the process. Four people are known to have died and 52 have been arrested.

The scenes were shocking, but what is perhaps more alarming is current President Donald Trump's response to it - and there are now calls for him to be removed from the role sooner than the two weeks he has left. With a rule known as the 25th amendment, this might actually be possible.

One video shared on Twitter (but later deleted, as Trump was temporarily banned from the social network) showed the president saying he "loved" the rioters, and referring to them as "very special". While he did urge them to leave the Capitol, he also described the mob as "great patriots" who had been "badly and unfairly treated for so long," adding that he wanted his followers to "remember this day forever!"

Photo credit: Alex Wong - Getty Images
Photo credit: Alex Wong - Getty Images

There have also been accusations that Donald Trump himself incited the riots. In an hour-long speech at the White House prior to the chaos ensuing, the leader told a riled-up crowd: "We will never give up. We will never concede. It will never happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore."

He then encouraged his followers to march towards the Capitol to "give our Republicans the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country." Afterwards, they did just that.

What's significant is that a number of Republican politicians who had previously sided with much of what Trump ruled, have now spoken out categorically against him. As the BBC reports, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who has been a known supporter of the president, stated: "It's past time for the president to accept the results of the election, quit misleading the American people, and repudiate mob violence."

Photo credit: Anadolu Agency - Getty Images
Photo credit: Anadolu Agency - Getty Images

And it's not just politicians who are making a stand against Donald Trump in the wake of yesterday's events. Two White House staffers have already quit in protest - Melania Trump's Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham, and Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Matthews - and there are likely to be more on the way.

The bottom line is that Donald Trump is currently standing on pretty dodgy ground. So will all this bring his presidency to a close any sooner than intended via the 25th amendment?

What is the 25th amendment?

The 25th amendment of the US constitution allows for a transfer of power from the president to the vice-president, and can be invoked if the vice-president and a majority of the cabinet to declare President Trump unable to perform his duties.

Considering there's been some tension between Donald Trump and vice-president Mike Pence in the last 24 hours, because Pence declared that his powers did not extend to 'overturning the election' as Trump had publicly called on him to do, it's not out of the question. There have been widespread calls from US politicians (particularly from the Democrats) for Donald Trump to be ousted, as well as from major media organisations including the Washington Post and The Atlantic.

Photo credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI - Getty Images
Photo credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI - Getty Images

No president in US history has permanently been removed from position using the 25th amendment (which was introduced in 1967, four years after the assassination of John F Kennedy), but numerous presidents have used it to temporarily hand over power to a vice-president in the instance of seeking medical treatment.

So will yet more history be made in the last fortnight of Donald Trump's leadership? We'll just have to wait and see...

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