Hawaii congressional delegation joins calls for president’s removal from office

  • KAHELE

  • HIRONO

  • SCHATZ

Hawaii’s congressional delegation joined in the calls for President Donald Trump to be removed from office following upheaval Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

Lawmakers, working to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory, were forced to evacuate the U.S. Capitol as an angry mob, encouraged by Trump, stormed the building.

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Rather than “taking the easy resign route,” U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono tweeted Thursday that Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s cabinet should invoke the 25th Amendment “to save our country from this dangerous president.”

In a second tweet later Thursday, Hirono said she joins House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in calling for Trump’s immediate removal from office.

“If the House votes to impeach him, I’d welcome the chance to vote for his conviction a second time,” she said.

Responding to Hirono’s first tweet, U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele said if Pence won’t invoke the 25h Amendment, Congress must impeach Trump immediately.

“I fully support removing President Trump from office, either by invoking the 25th Amendment or bringing forth articles of impeachment against him,” Kahele said in a statement released Wednesday morning. “We have seen the enormous damage Trump can do just in a short amount of a time since the 2020 presidential election. We cannot have a sitting president in office who incites violence among the people, or who tries to upend the American people’s democratic process and right to a just election.

“His deplorable abuse of power urging Georgia’s secretary of state to find votes, and his remarks in front of an agitated mob of his supporters yesterday that roused civil indignancy at the grounds of the U.S. Capitol are unforgivable,” Kahele, who was sworn into his role on Jan. 3, continued. “President Trump is a disgrace to the office he holds and to the American people. Every day he remains in the White House is another day America is unsafe.

“Whether it’s the 25th Amendment or impeachment, Donald Trump must be held accountable for his actions. This cannot wait. Congress must take action to impeach President Trump or remove him from office immediately.”

According to the Associated Press, Section 4 of the 25th Amendment says 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, the AP reports. 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.

According to his statement, Kahele has co-sponsored two resolutions of impeachment authored by fellow members of Congress — one resolution sponsored by U.S. Reps. David Cicilline, D-R.I.; Ted Lieu, D-Calif.; and Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and another by U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz called for the 25th Amendment to be invoked and for impeachment proceedings to begin.

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“Trump is a danger to democracy itself,” he said in a statement. “I took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We must both initiate impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives and invoke the 25th Amendment. Our vigilance must increase, not wane, in the final days.”

Email Stephanie Salmons at ssalmons@hawaiitribune-herald.com

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