Two key North Jersey lawmakers are supporting efforts to remove President Donald Trump from office before Jan. 20.
Reps. Mikie Sherrill and Josh Gottheimer separately announced on Jan. 7 they are backing efforts to either have the 25th Amendment evoked by Vice President Mike Pence and members of the Trump Cabinet or impeach the President for a second time to have President Trump removed before his term ends.
The call for removal comes after the U.S. Capitol building was overrun by pro-Trump supporters who Congressman on both sides of the aisle say were incited by President Trump and others who spoke at the Stop the Steal rally Jan. 6. The breach caused the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, both in the process of certifying the Electoral College vote, to halt operations as Congressional leaders were removed to secure locations. The actions of the violent mob resulted in five deaths, including a U.S. Capitol police officer.
In her statement released, Rep. Sherrill said the country experienced an undemocratic insurrection, incited by the President of the United States and other Republican leaders.
“The President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. We cannot tolerate a president who fomented an armed insurrection and actively thwarts the peaceful transfer of power in the United States of America,” said Sherrill. “Cabinet officials must take responsibility and invoke the 25th Amendment. And if they cannot fulfill their duty to this country, Congress will be forced to once again stand up for our values and use the whole host of our powers so this cannot happen again, up to and including impeachment.”
The congresswoman remarked that the action taken by the mob is a direct result of rhetoric the President has used since the election, making unfounded claims that an election win was stolen from him due to voter fraud.
“I stood in the House Chamber as these extremists breached the building in an attempt to stop the election certification and undermine our constitutional duties because they believed the 2020 election was stolen: a belief directly encouraged by the President. It was not,” stated Sherrill. “Our intelligence agencies declared this election ‘the most secure in American history.’ Election officials, Republican and Democrat alike, have certified the election results in every state in the nation and courts have thrown out over 60 cases.”
While reiterating that citizens have a constitutional right to protest, the Morris County resident said those who trespassed into the Capitol must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and called for an investigation of the security failure at the Capitol complex.
“(Jan. 6) marked one of the darkest days in our history. We returned to the chamber, among bullet holes and broken windows, to stand up for our democracy, certify this election, and ensure Joe Biden will take office on January 20,” said Sherrill. “But we will not back away in our defense of this country. I will fulfill my responsibilities as an American and as an elected Representative to the United States Congress to protect our democracy.”
Gottheimer: Need to Heal
In a statement on Facebook, Gottheimer wrote the need for the nation to heal, an opportunity brought on by a new Administration.
“But, we cannot ignore the actions of President Trump to obstruct our democracy, encourage violence, and threaten our security. That is why he should be removed from office by whatever legal means possible,” stated Gottheimer. “There must be accountability for one branch of government encouraging an attack on another, all in the name of undermining an election.”
The congressman called for the nation to unite in the weeks ahead, regardless of party, in “our fight to beat the pandemic, rebuild our economy, and protect America from threats at home and abroad.”
The declarations by Sherrill and Gottheimer means all the state’s Democratic delegation in the House have called for the removal of the President from office, including North Jersey office holders Albio Sires, Bill Pascrell and Donald Payne. Reps. Chris Smith and Jeff Van Drew, the two GOP members of the Garden State’s House delegation, have not joined the effort.
In the Senate, Sen. Cory Booker has expressed support for the actions while Sen. Bob Menendez has not made a formal announcement.