In “Impeach and Convict. Right Now. Trump is too dangerous to leave in office for even another minute,” New York Times columnist Bret Stephens writes: “The duty of the House of Representatives and the Senate, once they certify Joe Biden’s election, is to reconvene, Wednesday night if possible, to impeach the president and then remove him from office and bar him from ever holding office again….To allow Trump to serve out his term, however brief it may be, puts the nation’s safety at risk, leaves our reputation as a democracy in tatters and evades the inescapable truth that the assault on Congress was an act of violent sedition aided and abetted by a lawless, immoral and terrifying president.”
From the Washington Post editorial Board: “The president is unfit to remain in office for the next 14 days. Every second he retains the vast powers of the presidency is a threat to public order and national security. Vice President Pence, who had to be whisked off the Senate floor for his own protection, should immediately gather the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, declaring that Mr. Trump is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Congress, which would be required to ratify the action if Mr. Trump resisted, should do so. Mr. Pence should serve until President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20….Now that the stakes are viscerally clear, Mr. McConnell and every other Republican, almost all of whom bear some blame for what occurred on Wednesday, have an overriding responsibility to the nation: stopping Mr. Trump and restoring faith in democracy….The highest voice in the land incited people to break that faith, not just in tweets, but by inciting them to action. Mr. Trump is a menace, and as long as he remains in the White House, the country will be in danger.”
Law profesors David Landau and Rosalind Dixon write in a New York Times op-ed,”First, Vice President Pence and a majority of the cabinet should invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment in order to make a declaration that Mr. Trump is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” This would immediately suspend, but not remove, Mr. Trump from the exercise of his presidential duties and appoint Mr. Pence as acting president. The 25th Amendment would not and should not be used as a lasting solution in a case of this kind, but rather as a temporary measure to sideline a demonstrably unfit and dangerous actor who is fueling anti-democratic action….Second, the House should quickly draw up and pass articles of impeachment. And then the Senate should hold a fair — but immediate and efficient — trial both to remove President Trump from office and, as important, to disqualify him from serving in public office in the future….A public vote and rapid trial in the Senate would give much-needed legitimacy to actions to remove Mr. Trump from office. By forcing Republicans to stand up for democracy and against the president’s actions, it would also reaffirm bipartisan support for the fundamental principles of American democracy. Further, while the 25th Amendment is intended mainly for illness or other objective incapacities, impeachment offers an appropriate moral response to the president’s conduct, including incitement to violence and attacks on basic democratic norms.”
But anyone who expects the machinery of the 25th Amendment to work in time to prevent further Trump atrocities should read “Senior officials have discussed removing Trump under the 25th Amendment. Here’s how that could work” by Tim Elfrink at The Washington Post. Still, congress should take both steps to stand firm for the principles of legal accountability, no matter how long it takes. Congress should also do whatever they can to establish accountability for the security failures on the part of the capitol police administrators. Strong security measures to protect the inauguration should be put in place. Meanwhile, what can ordinary citizens do? Capture photos and videos of the rioters breaking the law and post them, so their employers will at least know who they are paying. Demand that they be arrested and charged with violations of the law. Going forward, continue to photograph Trump’s goons breaking the law and post their photos. Contact members of congress and senators and demand they stand up for accountability for the riots. Call for expulsion of members of congress and the senate who voted against certification of the Electoral College vote. Consider boycotts of corporate donors to these members of congress and the senate.