ST. PAUL — Members of Minnesota's congressional delegation are calling for President Donald Trump to be removed from office after a group of his extremist supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in hopes of disrupting Congress' certification of the 2020 election results.
In a phone interview with Forum News Service on Thursday, Jan. 7, U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., said she believes the 25th Amendment should be invoked to remove Trump from office before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20.
"I believe it is essential in our democracy that this president is held accountable," Smith said. "He is dangerous to our democracy and to public safety. You saw that yesterday. Who knows what else he might do in the short time that he has left."
Smith, as well as U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., in 2020 voted in favor of impeaching Trump. Smith said Thursday she would support such an effort in Congress again in the final weeks of Trump's term. U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has drafted new articles of impeachment as of Thursday.
In a Thursday appearance on "CBS This Morning," Klobuchar said that Vice President Mike Pence and the presidential cabinet "had better be ready to (invoke the 25th) if this continues because you cannot have a president basically leading an insurrection against our own country’s government." On "The View," she said invoking the 25th "would be appropriate."
Smith told Forum News Service that those who broke into the Capitol themselves are to be held accountable, but, "the responsibility for this lies at (Trump's) feet."
"They were encouraged to do that, they were inspired to do that, by the president of the United States," she said. "Not only by what he said just an hour or so before when he spoke to them all, but what he’s been doing for months by telling them this big lie that the election was stolen. It was not stolen."
She also reprimanded her colleagues on the Hill — including Minnesota's own Republican U.S. Reps. Jim Hagedorn and Michelle Fischbach — who objected to the certification of the election, saying they "were complicit in pushing for the president’s big lie."
"By signing on to those objections, they were signing onto the president’s illegal attempt to overthrow our election," Smith said. "The president told two lies. One was that the election was stolen, and the other was that Congress and the vice president could roll back or overturn the election, that they have the power to do that, which of course, they don't."
Eight of Minnesota's 10 members of Congress voted against the objections to Arizona and Pennsylvania's state-certified election results. Hagedorn and Fischbach voted to object to the results. The objections ultimately failed and Congress certified Biden's win.
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