Mayor Marty Walsh on Thursday joined Massachusetts lawmakers in calling for the removal of President Donald Trump from office, a day after the president’s supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol building to protest his election loss.
“I absolutely believe that the president should be removed from office (for) what his actions were yesterday,” Walsh, referring to the authority granted to the vice president and cabinet to do so under the 25th Amendment, told reporters at a press conference.
“I can’t speak for Mike Pence, the vice president, but certainly, I think the vice president was embarrassed yesterday,” Walsh continued. “He has been a very loyal supporter of the president from the very beginning, and I think yesterday he finally saw the true colors of this man that’s in the White House … I would encourage the vice president and the cabinet to act immediately.”
Pro-Trump rioters broke inside the Capitol building just as lawmakers were supposed to certify Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States — an attempt to sway the outcome of the election. Ensuing violence left four people dead, including a 35-year-old Air Force veteran who was shot and killed by an officer after entering the building.
Trump, before the mob descended on the halls of Congress, addressed supporters from outside the White House. In his remarks, he repeatedly and falsely claimed he won last year’s presidential election and urged the crowd before him to “fight like hell.”
The Massachusetts congressional delegation is among a growing number of lawmakers now urging the executive branch officials to unprecedentedly act on the 25th Amendment, which allows removal if a president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
Walsh argued Trump incited violence on Wednesday, thereby making the action necessary.
The mayor pointed to veterans who fought in wars throughout the nation’s history and those currently overseas “fighting for democracy and helping other countries achieve democracy,” he said.
“The president just threw that out the window yesterday,” he said.
At other points while addressing reporters, Walsh expanded on the sentiments he and the City Council expressed in a unified statement that condemned the scene unspooling in Washington, D.C., the day before.
“It certainly was a dark day for a democracy,” he said in prepared remarks. “We watched in horror as a mob stormed the United States Capitol, leaving a trail of chaos and destruction. That was not a protest. It was an insurrection.”
After years of growing anger, hatred, and misinformation, the incident was “not unexpected,” Walsh continued.
“The violence in our country and the violence around this election needs to stop,” said Walsh. “People are hurting. We need to stop playing with their emotions.”
According to the mayor, the city received no threats on Wednesday, nor had officials received one since then. Walsh said Boston saw “a couple of marches” but all were peaceful.
In Washington, D.C., the Capitol Police were apparently overrun, Walsh said, calling the matter a “breakdown.”
“You can see definitely, the police were in danger as well,” he said.
At least 52 people were arrested and at least 26 of them were taken into custody on the Capitol grounds by the Metropolitan Police Department, The New York Times reports. The grand-scale security breach has prompted criticism against law enforcement agencies at the scene, and sparked intent from lawmakers for an investigation into what happened.
The FBI and federal prosecutors vowed on Thursday to hold accountable those who broke into government property. Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said anyone who traveled to the nation’s capital from the Bay State with the intent of participating in the violent attack will be prosecuted.
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