Queens elected officials are joining growing calls for the immediate removal of President Donald Trump from office, following Wednesday’s chaos at the Capitol.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment — which would allow the vice president and a majority of Cabinet members to declare the president unfit to discharge his duties, and remove him from his official duties — in a press statement on Thursday, Jan. 7.
“What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president,” Schumer stated. “This president should not hold office one day longer.”
Several Queens lawmakers, many of whom were on lockdown for hours as hundreds of pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol building in a failed attempt to stop the electoral vote certification, emphasized Trump’s continuous efforts to undermine the results of the election and Wednesday’s violence as grounds to remove him from office with only two weeks left of his presidency.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter that if the 25th Amendment isn’t invoked on Thursday, “Congress must reconvene immediately for impeachment and removal proceedings.”
Articles of impeachment have already been drafted and are ready for introduction. They were prepared and finalized by @IlhanMN while she was extracted in a secure location, and members are signing on. pic.twitter.com/FJCpmp64OV
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 7, 2021
Ocasio-Cortez shared the articles of impeachment already drafted, which were prepared and finalized by Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. It would be Congress’ second attempt to impeach Trump.
Ocasio-Cortez is also in support of Missouri Congresswoman Cori Bush’s resolution to investigate and potentially removed the members of Congress who incited yesterday’s violence by contesting battleground states’ electors.
The House and Senate broke for recess until Jan. 19 after the chambers completed the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory early Thursday morning.
Congressswoman Carolyn Maloney, who represents parts of Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn, voiced support for the immediate invocation of the 25th Amendment.
“After casting my vote and arriving home early [Thursday] morning, and thinking through how we as a nation and a government respond to the insurrection, one thing is very clear: Trump must be removed from office either via the 25th Amendment or impeachment,” Maloney stated. “He is clearly unfit and cannot be trusted to carry out his duties and peacefully transfer power to the next President – he must be removed from office as soon as possible. If the Vice President and Cabinet fail to act, we have a duty to pursue impeachment.”
Congresswoman Grace Meng, who had to barricade herself during the riots at the Capitol, said Trump is “a danger to our democracy and nation.”
“He incited yesterday’s chaos, violence, and destruction at the U.S. Capitol,” Meng stated. “His removal must be immediate and swift. Vice President Pence must invoke the 25th Amendment to protect our democracy from further strain. If this is not done, Congress must return to impeach and remove the President.”
Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez called Trump “unhinged and unfit,” while calling for the 25th Amendment to be invoked.
President Trump needs to step down. He is unhinged and unfit. If he does not, the 25th Amendment needs to be invoked. My full statement: https://t.co/GZS5ao3ghW
— Rep. Nydia Velazquez (@NydiaVelazquez) January 7, 2021
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries wrote on Twitter, “Donald Trump should be impeached, convicted and removed from office immediately.”
Donald Trump should be impeached, convicted and removed from office immediately.
— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) January 7, 2021
Congressman Tom Suozzi, who represents parts of Queens and Long Island, said he’ll support “any action against him that will hold him accountable for his irresponsible and reprehensible behavior.”
“We have been through a trauma. President Trump and all that enabled the insurrectionists and the insurrectionists themselves must be held accountable. They should all be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Suozzi wrote in a statement. “Yesterday, we saw Democrats and Republicans alike rebuke the terrible actions that took place at the Capitol. President Trump, who must leave office on January 20th, 2021, cannot leave soon enough. I will support any action against him that will hold him accountable for his irresponsible and reprehensible behavior. Whether it is the removal from office by his Cabinet utilizing the 25th Amendment, expedited impeachment, censure, or prosecution after he leaves office.”
Congressman Gregory Meeks, chairman of the House’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, said Trump “sparked and then encouraged an insurrection that laid siege to the very center of our democracy” and should be removed either by impeachment or by the 25th Amendment.
“Yesterday’s assault on our Capitol came on the heels of months of lies from the president about the election he ultimately lost and the constitutional system of government he is sworn to defend,” Meeks stated. “Months ago, during a presidential election debate, he instructed far-right extremist factions like the Proud Boys to ‘stand back, stand by.’ Yesterday, steps from the White House, he mobilized them in a desperate attempt to overturn the results of our free and fair election.”
Meeks added that as the chairman of one of the House’s six investigative committees, he will “work swiftly” with his colleagues to seek Trump’s “removal from power and disqualification from holding any future office.”
On Wednesday morning, Trump addressed thousands of his supporters near the Capitol, reiterating his unfounded claims of voter fraud — even as the states certified the votes and about 60 of his lawsuits have failed in court.
He then called upon the crowd, which had many members of militia and white supremacists groups, to march toward Capitol Hill, where hundreds of his supporters broke through barricades and into the chambers, momentarily halting procedures.
One woman with the pro-Trump rioters was shot by police, and three others have died. More than 50 arrests have been made following the riots.
In response to the events, other elected officials in the New York State Legislature have expressed their support of Trump’s immediate removal from office.
Forest Hills Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi said Trump “must be removed from office immediately in order to protect the people of the United States.”
“The peoples’ house was attacked yesterday by domestic enemies of our country,” stated Hevesi. “While the rule of law demands accountability for every person involved in this attempted insurrection, our first order of business must be to prevent further destruction and damage to our democracy.”
Astoria Assemblyman Zohran Mamdani is not only calling for Trump’s removal, but is also joining a protest Thursday night at the Barclays Center to denounce the Capitol police’s response to the mob.
“Yesterday, we witnessed what a ‘law and order’ response is when white supremacists invade the United States capitol. Police eventually escorted them out of the building, yet just this summer violently suppressed Black Lives Matter protests,” Mamdani said. “We know the hypocrisy is not coincidental: police choose who to escalate on and have brutalized communities of color with that discretionary power for decades. We must use this moment to stand up to white supremacy and fascism and to draw a line in the sand that calls for clear consequences for all those who incited and encouraged such actions.”
This story was updated at 4 p.m