TRANSCRIPT FROM NYC PRESS CONFERENCE: Leader Schumer Calls On Vice President Pence To Invoke The 25th Amendment To IMMEDIATELY Remove President TrumpJanuary 7, 2021
New York, NY — Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today at a press conference called on the vice president to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Trump from office. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States incited by President Trump. The president promoted conspiracy theories that motivated these thugs. He exhorted them to come to our nation’s capital. He told them to “march down Pennsylvania Avenue” and he said “you will never take back our country with weakness.” President Trump’s lies fed the crowd. He directed their anger at Capitol Hill, and his demagoguery whipped them into a frenzy.
Let me be clear: these were rioters, insurrectionists, goons, thugs, domestic terrorists. They, of course, bear responsibility for the mayhem yesterday. They should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and if this administration won’t, I’m confident the next administration will. No leniency. No leniency for these people. They have the cameras all over; they have their pictures. No matter what part of the country they came from, we ought to go after them right now.
But make no mistake about it: the reprehensible acts yesterday were incited by the President of the United States. Yesterday’s events would not have happened without him. If there were no President Trump, this would not have happened, plain and simple. The fish stinks from the head. Plain and simple.
I believe the president is dangerous and should not hold office one day longer.
He may only have 13 days left as president. But yesterday demonstrated that each and every one of those days is a threat to democracy so long as he is in power.
The quickest and most effective way to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th amendment. The Vice President can invoke the 25th amendment today, and, if the Cabinet votes, he is gone. They should do it now.
If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president, plain and simple.
We don’t need a lengthy debate. The president’s abuse of power, his incitement of a mob against duly elected representative body of the United States is a manifestly impeachable offense – if there ever was an impeachable offense, what the president did was it.
And if you think he won’t spend his days out-of-office promoting conspiracies, stoking his own grievances and doing more of the same, you’re kidding yourselves.
If you think he won’t promote the idea of him running again four years from now to motivate his supporters, you’re kidding yourselves.
And in impeachment there is a charge that allows the Congress to say he can never run for office again: that should be invoked as well.
So if the Vice President and the Cabinet won’t invoke the 25th, Congress should come back in session immediately and impeach the president: get him out of office.
Speaker Pelosi and I tried to call the Vice President this morning to tell him to do this. They kept us on hold for 25 minutes and then said the Vice President wouldn’t come on the phone. So we are making this call public because he should do it and do it right away.
Now, before I open it up to questions, I want to convey to people how seriously we have to treat this subject.
I was talking to a friend on the phone this morning, and this friend told me that his parents, when they were talking about what happened, just shrugged their shoulders.
We cannot shrug our shoulders at something as serious as this. We cannot say this was a one-time incident and it will go away.
My fellow Americans: we cannot treat our democracy like this is something out of our control.
If we just shrug our shoulders about the violence and mayhem; if we shrug our shoulders about dangerous conspiracies and misinformation, the president – another president or even this president if he tried again – could do the same.
Our democracy is at risk.
If we shrug our shoulders when actions like this occur, mark my words, the days of democracy are numbered. We have to fight this with all we can.
And I’d like to make one other point on a related subject.
It was appalling how ill-prepared the Congress was for these attacks, which were known about in advance.
I will dismiss the Sergeant At Arms the day I become Majority Leader, January 21st, if McConnell who appointed him doesn’t get rid of him sooner. He must go. He did a terrible, terrible job.
The men and women of the Capitol Police, they’re fine people, but they had no leadership; no preparation. Everyone knew this would happen. The Sergeant At Arms has been derelict at his duty – he doesn’t deserve to be in office.
Again – he was appointed by Mitch McConnell because McConnell was Majority Leader. If McConnell doesn’t get rid of him, I will the first day that I become Majority Leader, January 21st.