WASHINGTON — Arizona Rep. Tom O’Halleran has joined lawmakers from both parties in calling for President Donald Trump’s removal from office.
O’Halleran, who represents Congressional District 1, which includes most of Pinal County, spoke on the House Floor Wednesday in support of Arizona’s free and fair election process, affirming the state’s results. Friday he released the following statement:
“Wednesday was a dark day in American history. I wholeheartedly condemn the violent acts that took place at the U.S. Capitol. Over the course of these last few months, Donald Trump has proven himself unfit for office and must be immediately removed from power for his role in this national nightmare. I join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in calling on the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment.”
O’Halleran went on to say that Trump “stoked the flames of unrest,” calling on his supporters to take action, supporting them as the morning began Wednesday and staying silent for hours as they stormed the U.S. Capitol.
“What the president has done has already weakened us; he remains a threat to our national security as long as he is in office,” O’Halleran said.
Lawmakers of both parties have raised the prospect of ousting Trump from office, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that if he isn’t removed, the House may move forward with a second impeachment.
Senior Trump administration officials raised the long-shot possibility of invoking Section 4 of the 25th Amendment — the forceful removal of Trump from power by his own Cabinet.
There does not appear to be public support for the move, for now, among members of Trump’s Cabinet, especially after Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao resigned in protest Thursday following the Capitol attack. But officials across the government went so far as to study up on the procedures for declaring Trump “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
According to two people involved in the administration talks, staff-level discussions on the matter took place across multiple departments and even parts of the White House. No member of the Cabinet has publicly expressed support for the move, which would make Pence the acting president. But several were believed to be sympathetic to the notion, believing Trump is too volatile in his waning days before Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
Under the 25th Amendment, Trump could dispute his Cabinet’s finding, but the Cabinet could quickly reaffirm its position, keeping Pence in power while the question fell to lawmakers.
At least one House Republican also called for Trump’s removal. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., a frequent Trump critic, said in a video on Twitter that Trump is “unfit” and “unwell.”
Former Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who’s clashed with Trump for years, said he doesn’t think invoking the 25th Amendment is realistic because of the support it would need from Cabinet members and because of the short time left in Trump’s term. But he said in an interview that he supported the decisions both by some White House and administration officials to quit and others who are remaining “to ensure that basically the guard rails stay where they should.”
Flake added: “We’ve got two weeks here, and let’s make sure we get to the inauguration.”
Democrats laid plans Friday for impeaching Trump and Pelosi said she had spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about preventing an “unhinged” Trump from ordering a nuclear strike in his final hours and days.
Pelosi and the Democrats are considering swift impeachment — as soon as next week — in response to the deadly siege of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob that shocked the nation and the world
“We must take action,” Pelosi declared on a conference call.