WASHINGTON (CBS SF) – Top lawmakers from California, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, urged the removal of President Donald Trump following Wednesday's deadly siege of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.
"In calling for this seditious act, the President has committed an unspeakable assault on our nation and its people," Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said at Thursday's briefing, urging Vice President Mike Pence and Trump's Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump from power.
Pelosi went on to say that if Pence and the Cabinet do not take action, that Congress may be prepared to impeach Trump for a second time.
"If he wants to be unique and be doubly impeached, that's kind of up to him and his Cabinet as to whether he should stay in office," the Speaker said.
Pelosi joined incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in calling for Trump's removal by invoking the 25th Amendment. In a statement from Pelosi's office Thursday afternoon, both the Speaker and Schumer said they had not yet heard back from the Vice President.
In a statement Thursday night, Feinstein joined calls to remove Trump from office, saying that she was "in full agreement" following Wednesday's siege.
"Ours is a country of accountability, and President Trump must answer for his dangerous actions," Feinstein said. "He must not be allowed to remain in office, causing more harm and endangering more lives."
Other Bay Area members of Congress have also urged Trump's removal from office, including Rep. Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo), Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Napa) and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin).
The growing calls for removing Trump comes a day after rioters spurred on by the President stormed the Capitol, as a joint session of Congress counted Electoral College votes confirming Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election. For the past two centuries, the joint session was mostly a ceremonial part of the electoral process.
During the attack on the Capitol, at least four people died.
After authorities cleared the Capitol, the session counting the votes continued Wednesday night and Biden's victory was confirmed early Thursday morning.
When asked about urging Trump's removal with less than two weeks until Biden is inaugurated, Pelosi said, "While it's only 13 days left, any day can be a horror show for America."
The Speaker went on to say, "we have to be very, very careful. Because these people and their leader, Donald Trump, do not care about the security of people, or they don't care about our democracy, they don't care about the peaceful transfer of power. Something is very, very wrong here."
Pelosi also said that those who stormed the Capitol would be found and prosecuted.
"Justice will be done to those who carried out these acts, which were acts of sedition and acts of cowardice. To those whose purpose was to deter our responsibility, you have failed," Pelosi said.
Pelosi ended Thursday's news conference saying she continued to pray for the president. "I say I pray for the president every day, and I do. Last night was the hardest day for me. At 5:00 in the morning when I finally got home, as I was praying, I said, 'You've got to keep praying for him, you've got to keep praying for him.'"
"Maybe there's some hope. But we can't take that chance because people's lives are at stake as well as our democracy," the Speaker concluded.
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