WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Congress’ confirmation of Joe Biden as winner of the presidential election (all times local):
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is calling on President Donald Trump’s Cabinet to remove him from office following Wednesday’s violent assault on the Capitol by the president’s supporters.
In a statement Thursday, Schumer said the attack on the Capitol “was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president.” He added, “This president should not hold office one day longer.”
Schumer said Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet should invoke the 25th Amendment and immediately remove Trump from office. He added, “If the vice president and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.”
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:
Republican Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger is calling on President Donald Trump’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove him from office.
Kinzinger made the remarks Thursday in a video posted to Twitter, responding to the violent mob that stormed Congress on Wednesday in an attempt to stop the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win over Trump.
Kinzinger says, “the president is unfit. And the president is unwell.”
He went on to say Trump “must now relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntarily.”
The 25th Amendment allows for the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare the president unfit for office. The vice president then becomes acting president.
The chief of the U.S. Capitol Police says the violent mob that stormed the building wielded metal pipes, chemical irritants and other weapons against law enforcement.
Steven Sund issued a statement Thursday saying the rioting protesters “actively attacked” police officers and “were determined to enter into the Capitol building by causing great damage.”
A Capitol Police officer shot and killed one person, who Sund identified as Ashli Babbitt. Sund did not identify the officer but said they would be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
Sund defended his agency’s response from criticism that officers did not stop the incursion. He says his agency “had a robust plan” for what he anticipated would be peaceful protests, but what occurred Wednesday was “criminal riotous behavior.”
He said more than 50 Capitol and Washington police officers were injured and several Capitol Police officers were hospitalized with serious injuries.
The top U.S. military commander for Africa has issued a message of assurance to his forces, saying that America, its Constitution and system of government remain strong despite the violent events at the U.S. Capitol.
Army Gen. Stephen Townsend tweeted Thursday that America has “withstood much greater and graver challenges in the past” and Africa Command remains focused on its mission.
“The American people expect, and need, us to stay steady and keep clear eyes on our duty — and we will,” said Townsend in a statement with his senior enlisted leader, Sgt. Maj. Richard Thresher.
While the statement appears to be directed to his Africa Command forces, it clearly serves as a message across Europe and Africa to America’s allies who watched in horror as armed and angry protestors took over the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Africa Command is based in Germany.
Former Attorney General William Barr says President Donald Trump’s conduct as a violent mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol was a “betrayal of his office and supporters.”
In a statement to The Associated Press, Barr said Thursday that “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable.”
Barr was one of Trump’s most loyal and ardent defenders in the Cabinet.
His comments come a day after angry and armed protesters broke into the U.S. Capitol, forcing Congress members to halt the ongoing vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s election and then flee from the House and Senate chambers.
Barr resigned last month amid lingering tension over the president’s baseless claims of election fraud and the investigation into Biden’s son.