Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey on Thursday joined the calls for the removal of President Donald Trump in the wake of Wednesday's insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
The 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution allows for the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare a president unfit for office. The vice president then becomes acting president. The section of the amendment specifically addressing this procedure has never been invoked.
Casey joined other bipartisan voices, including the Senate's top Democrat, Chuck Schumer of New York, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., calling for Trump’s immediate removal.
“Yesterday, domestic terrorists, inspired, encouraged and emboldened by President Donald Trump, attacked the U.S. Capitol Building in furtherance of an attempted coup," the senator, from Scranton, said in a news release. Here is the rest of Casey's statement:
"While shocking, yesterday’s events were entirely foreseeable. They were the direct result of President Trump’s lies about the integrity of our most recent election, and his frequent incitements to violence. For weeks, the President has lied about his decisive defeat, promoting wild conspiracy theories about unsubstantiated fraud and encouraging this insurrection. But he didn’t do it alone. President Trump was aided and abetted every step of the way by a multitude of Republicans in both the House and Senate who, after four years of enabling his authoritarian tendencies, yesterday sought to invalidate the will of the very people they serve. These members of Congress, along with President Trump, are responsible for this direct assault on our democracy and on our Nation’s Capitol Building. Their collective actions and words put lives at risk, and struck at the heart of our most fundamental democratic principles.
"President Trump is a threat to our domestic and national security. It is self-evident that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. I call on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and begin the process of removing the powers of the presidency from Donald Trump. This is the quickest way to protect our domestic and national security.”
The 25th Amendment's Section 4 lays out what happens if the president becomes unable to discharge his duties but doesn't transfer power to the vice president himself.
The vice president and majority of the Cabinet can declare the president unfit. They then would send a letter to the speaker of the House and president pro tempore of the Senate saying so. The vice president then becomes acting president.
The president can send his own letter saying he is fit to serve. But if the vice president and majority of the Cabinet disagree, they can send another letter to Congress within four days. Congress would then have to vote. The president resumes his duties unless both houses of Congress by a two-thirds vote say the president is not ready.
Section 4 of the amendment also gives Congress the power to establish a “body” that can, with the support of the vice president, declare that the president is unable to do the job. If they agree the president is unfit, the vice president would take over. But Congress has never set up the body.
At least three Democratic House members from Pennsylvania are also urging the invocation of the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. They are Reps. Dwight Evans of Philadelphia, Mary Gay Scanlon of Delaware County, and Chrissy Houlahan of Chester County.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.