Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has joined a growing chorus of lawmakers calling for President Donald Trump’s removal from office.
Citing Trump’s incitement of the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Inslee said Thursday the president cannot be allowed to remain in office for 13 more days. He said Trump should be removed “by any legal means necessary” — whether through resignation, impeachment or invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.
Inslee slammed Trump’s “deceptions, deceit and continued lies” about the 2020 election, saying they led directly to the assault on Congress as representatives sought to complete the tally of the Electoral College votes confirming the election of Joe Biden. Four people died in connection with the rioting and more than 50 people were arrested.
“It was not a protest. It was an insurrection,” Inslee said, speaking to reporters Thursday via a Zoom video call at the annual Associated Press legislative preview. “We need to go to the heart of that insurrection and remove that cancer.”
All of Washington’s congressional Democrats also have called for Trump’s ouster, most citing the use of the 25th Amendment, a longshot constitutional option that allows for removal of a president deemed to be incapacitated and unable to carry out his duties. The drastic action would require sign-off from Vice President Mike Pence and members of the Cabinet.
By Thursday evening, Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and all seven of the state’s Democratic U.S. House members had publicly called for Trump’s removal before his term ends.
Murray said Trump should be held fully responsible along with the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol.
“The most immediate way to ensure the President is prevented from causing further harm in coming days is to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove him from office,” Murray said in a statement late Wednesday. “As history watches, I urge Vice President Pence and the President’s cabinet to put country before party and act.”
Cantwell said in a statement she backed impeaching Trump again “for abusing power and attempting to interfere in the election results in Georgia.”
In an online video on Thursday, Trump finally conceded the election to Biden, saying “a new administration would be inaugurated on Jan. 20.” But the gesture was not likely to appease Democrats, and some Republicans, who are pressing to eject him from the White House.
In a tweet, Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, noted that he’d been the first Washington House member to call for Trump’s impeachment last year.
“Now calling for VP to invoke 25th Amendment. Trump has lost it,” Larsen wrote. He later added he would also support impeaching Trump a second time.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday if Pence and the Cabinet does not act, the House will consider impeachment again despite the brief time remaining in Trump’s term.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, also called for Trump to be removed “immediately” via the 25th Amendment. “We must hold the man who incited today’s dangerous assault on America fully accountable,” she said in a tweet.
Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, said in a statement she “couldn’t have imagined the violence and lawlessness I saw around the United States Capitol. For the good of the country, the 25th Amendment should be invoked to remove President Trump from office immediately.”
Reps. Kim Schrier, D-Sammamish, and Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, and newly elected Olympia-area Rep. Marilyn Strickland also weighed in with tweets supporting Trump’s removal.
The calls to expel the president were not joined by the state’s three Republican House Reps., Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Vancouver, and Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside.