By Ben Peters
Athens NEWS Associate Editor
In the aftermath of the violent riot on Capitol Hill, Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers broke with President Donald Trump on Thursday saying in an interview with Spectrum News that he would support the cabinet invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office in the final days of his term.
It’s unclear whether the measure, which has been urged by many Democrats, will actually come to fruition since Vice President Mike Pence, who would spearhead the process, is said to have privately opposed it, according to The New York Times.
Invoking the 25th Amendment, which temporarily or permanently removes a president from office who is deemed mentally or physically unfit, also requires majority support from the cabinet, of which two members have resigned in recent days.
Stivers, whose district encompasses much of Athens County, condemned Trump for not acting decisively enough in urging his mob of supporters to leave after they breached the Capitol Building, forcing the hill into lockdown and obstructing the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
“I was disappointed in the president yesterday. I thought he — maybe not directly — but indirectly incited people to come to the Capitol,” Stivers said. “He got them very worked up and upset, and, um, he got their emotions high and he helped create the situation were the spark happened and the flame burned.”
The episode that unfolded in Washington D.C. on Wednesday — which was directly incited by Trump — resulted in the death of at least five people, including one United States Capitol Police officer who was said to have died in the hospital after being beaten over the head with a fire extinguisher. A pro-Trump rioter was shot and killed by police and three others died of “medical emergencies,” according to CNN.
Democrats, including U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, have said that if the cabinet fails to invoke the 25th Amendment and Trump doesn’t resign they will move quickly to impeach him in the final days of his presidency, which would make him the only president in American history to be impeached by Congress twice.
Stivers, in the interview, called the push for impeachment “silly” given his belief that it’s not feasible to complete the process in the brief time Trump has left in office.
“I do not believe an impeachment can happen in 13 days. Plus, I don’t think it would give the president time enough to mount a meaningful defense.”