Rep. Adam Kinzinger on Thursday became the first GOP lawmaker to call for invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.
It came a day after a pro-Trump mob stormed and ransacked the U.S. Capitol in a futile bid to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Kinzinger, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran who continues to serve in the Air Force, lay blame for the insurrection at the feet of the president himself, who had urged his supporters to march on the Capitol.
“Here’s the truth. The president caused this. The president is unfit and the president is unwell. And the president now must relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntarily,” Kinzinger, a centrist Republican and frequent Trump critic, said in a video message posted on Twitter.
Kinzinger noted that during past administrations the 25th Amendment has been invoked when a president has been under anesthesia, passing power temporarily to the vice president, “because even for that moment to have the captain of the ship absent could cause a major catastrophe.”
The Illinois Republican said Trump “abdicated his duty” to protect Americans in Congress, “inflamed passions” that fueled the insurrection, and half-heartedly denounced the violence — what the congressman called a “wink and a nod” to his supporters trashing the Capitol.
“All indications are that the president has become unmoored, not just from his duty, nor even his oath, but from reality itself,” Kinzinger said. “It’s for this reason that I call for the vice president and members of the Cabinet to ensure the next few weeks are safe for the American people and that we have a sane captain the ship.”