Days following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead, pressure mounts on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment and the House of Representatives to move on impeachment to remove President Donald Trump from office. The House is expected to vote Tuesday after House Democrats introduced articles of impeachment in an effort to swiftly remove President Trump from office, citing one charge: incitement of insurrection.
As new details emerge, the mob attack on the Capitol appears more and more grim. Disturbing videos surfaced of rioters attacking police officers. Rioters photographed in military garb, carrying zip ties have been arrested. People shouted during the storming of the building, “Hang Mike Pence!” At least 17 people were federally charged, and prosecutors continue to crack down on those involved. A man who had armed himself with an assault rifle and texted that he’d put “a bullet in her noggin on Live TV” was charged with threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Former chief of the Capitol police Steven Sund said he requested assistance six times ahead of and during the attack, but the requests were denied.
Lawmakers on both sides, including Trump allies like former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, are calling for President Trump’s removal or resignation, saying he committed an impeachable offense by inciting a violent mob. On Tuesday, when questioned about his remarks, Trump denied involvement, saying, “If you read my speech, and many people have done it and I’ve seen it both in the papers and in the media, on television, it’s been analyzed and people thought that what I said was totally appropriate.” He continued, “Everybody to a ‘T’ thought it was totally appropriate.” As we know, everybody did not.
In wake of the tragedy at the Capitol, we asked Boston.com readers if they thought President Trump was unfit for office in the remaining days of his presidency. 3,292 readers responded to the poll and the answer was overwhelmingly clear.
Readers believe Trump is not fit for office.
82.7% called for Trump’s immediate removal while a significantly much smaller group said no and to let him ride out his final days of the presidency. Many urged swift action, saying he should have been impeached already, and that each day more with him in power could pose a dangerous risk. Several wondered, “If this is not an impeachable offense, then what is?” Readers who self-identified as Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and Libertarians wrote in to voice their disgust. A few defended the president’s actions. Several said they feared for democracy. A reoccurring theme in the submitted comments: Actions have consequences. The consequence most cited as the main reason to impeach and convict, was that Trump would become unable to run for office again in 2024, or any year for that matter. If impeached and convicted, Trump might also lose his security detail and tax-funded pension.
Many, too, said that the man who once declared himself the “President of Law and Order” should see the other side of the law. Calling for his prosecution many cited sedition, and added that his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani as well as members of the Trump family should also be investigated for the roles in inciting the insurrection.
Here’s what some Boston.com readers had to say about Trump’s remaining days in office
Responses were lightly edited for length and clarity.
“Basically, by inciting violence against due process of law, I opine that his behavior borders on treason. Removing him from office might be largely symbolic, but symbolism counts at some point.” —Erik Hille, Gloucester
“He put his Vice President and the security of the Capitol at grave risk. His job as president is to protect and defend the constitution and the people of the US. Not only did he refuse to do that, but he directly encouraged and invited his base of protesters to take action. That behavior is unforgivable, extremely dangerous and a frightening example of democracy for the rest of the world.” —Susan H., Norfolk
“As long as he is not encouraging more riots, don’t try to remove him with only two weeks left as it would make him more of a martyr to his zealous followers. I think it’s more effective to ignore him and avoid giving him the attention he craves.” —Jeff, Framingham
“I voted for him. I was a supporter. He did good things for jobs and the economy. But he is a sociopath. He should also face charges.” —Chris, North Billerica
“HE must be tried and imprisoned. Ted Cruz and associates also need to be removed from office. All the thugs that broke into the Capitol, looted and destroyed property must be prosecuted.” —Jayden, Cambridge
“A precedent needs to be set so that Trump does not continue disrupting democracy without consequences. Any previous president would have taken ownership of any ethical or illegal behavior, because they had the respect for our government and democracy. Since Trump does not have that moral fiber nor respect for the democratic process, the legislators have the responsibility to make sure our president is not violating the constitution, inciting riots in the streets.” —Diane Gleason, Gloucester
“To allow Trump to remain in office until he quietly slips away after Joe Biden’s inauguration would be to set a troubling precedent. If there are no consequences for inciting insurrection, which is a major felony, what does that say about our rule of law in America?” —Sean M., Boston
“Wednesday’s tragic events were inevitable. Trump stirred a hornet’s nest with a stick. Then he stepped back to watch what would happen.” —Deborah Baer, Burlington
“A man unfit to tweet is a man unfit to launch nuclear weapons. He told seditionists that he loves them.” —Brian, Somerville
“Trump is gone on January 20. Stop wasting time stomping on his political grave. What did Gerald Ford do after the removal of Nixon? He asked for Americans to come together. The ‘events’ at the Capitol were an unimaginable disgrace. If the Capitol Police were not capable of handling the crowd, the Marines one mile away should have been called in. I honestly can’t believe that I saw American citizens smash windows in the US Capitol.” —”Ashamed but still Conservative,” Dorchester
“I think it is important for Trump to be removed, not only for his sake, but for the sake of all the potential followers who might think that what he did and supported is OK, when clearly it is dangerous.” —Jim, Camden, Maine
“The president has the blood of five dead Americans on his hands. He needs to leave office immediately and prosecutors need to charge him.” —Diane, Arlington
“To be quite frank, I feel frightened. I can’t understand how Trump supporters are still defending his actions. Where is our humanity?” —Nicky, Beverly
“25th amendment should be invoked immediately. Trump should also be impeached and removed. It is mind-boggling that Trump remains president after the seditious events of Jan 6.” —George, Belmont
“I used to always feel safe in the United Sates, politically, financially, and personally. For the first time in my adult life, I feel unsafe in this country with him as president. I fear for my safety, my freedom and especially my children.” —Jennifer, Manchester
“While removing his access to social media will relieve the effect of a lot of his dangerous rhetoric, he instigated the breach of the Capitol yesterday with his baseless lies, lies thrown out in over 62 court cases, and he is a danger to our democracy. To ensure a peaceful transfer of power we should remove Trump and allow Pence to handle the final two weeks.” —Susan, North Reading
Boston.com occasionally interacts with readers by conducting informal polls and surveys. These results should be read as an unscientific gauge of readers’ opinion.
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