Removing President Donald Trump from office is now a focus in Washington after the riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Democrats and some Republicans are floating options. And several Minnesota leaders want action, but an expert questions if it can be done.
Leaders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi want the vice president to invoke the 25th Amendment, which could force Trump out on grounds that he’s unfit to serve.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has introduced articles of impeachment against Trump after he encouraged his supporters to descend on the Capitol, resulting in the violent insurrection.
Omar said even with just two weeks before Joe Biden is sworn in, it’s clear the president needs to go.
“Every day he remains in office is a day the safety of America and the world is threatened,” Omar asserted.
Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., is also calling for Trump’s removal.
However, a political scientist from Brown University said even if either option is pursued quickly, there are still several steps that could block the effort.
She noted the 25th Amendment gives Trump a way to protest the move, and required votes in the House might not get enough Republican support.
Keith Ellison, Minnesota Attorney General and a Democrat who previously served in Congress, said despite any roadblocks, leaders in Washington need to forcefully pursue ways to get rid of Trump.
“He will run again in 2024 if something is not done to address him,” Ellison contended. “And even if he doesn’t run, somebody will try to pick up his mantle and maybe be worse than him.”
Rose McDermott, professor of political science at Brown University, said the 25th Amendment question is especially tricky, since a majority of White House Cabinet members need to sign off, in addition to the vice president. With staffers resigning, that makes that option harder.
“So the question is, how do you keep the guardrails on for the next 14 days?” McDermott wondered.
She noted military leaders do have the authority to reject demands from the president, if they’re perceived as illegal.
But she added with fewer White House advisers staying on, it might be hard to monitor the Oval Office.