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Rep. Tim Ryan Calls For President Trump's Impeachment After U.S. Capitol Siege

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, speaks at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, in Clear Lake, Iowa.
John Locher
Associated Press

With less than two weeks before Donald Trump leaves the White House, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) is calling for the president to be swiftly impeached following yesterday's U.S. Capitol invasion by pro-Trump extremists.

“I think he needs to be impeached immediately," Ryan said in an interview on WOSU's All Sides With Ann Fisher."This is a dangerous human being who holds a lot of power that the American people have given to him. He has shown over the last four years he just abuses it.”

In an online news conferenceWednesday night, Ryan said that Cabinet members should remove Trump from office by invoking the 25th Amendment, whereby the president could be declared "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."

“We can’t trust him over the next couple of weeks not to continue to try to undermine our democracy in a very significant way," Ryan said. "I mean, somebody died today.”

Ryan was joined by other Ohio Democrats, including Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who released a statement Thursday saying that Trump must be held personally accountable.

"The cabinet and vice president should immediately invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, to prevent him from doing more damage between now and Inauguration Day," Brown said.

Ryan blames Congress for not being more prepared for the possibility of something like Wednesday’s mob.

“The critique I have, and what makes me livid, is to think how unprepared we were given everything the president has done and said over the last four years, but more precisely in early December, saying January 6 was gonna be a heck of a day, it’s gonna be wild,” Ryan said.

Ryan also thinks Republican officials who did not stand up to Trump’s unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud, and attempts to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's victory, are to blame.

“They’re all complicit to this. So I’m not impressed with people doing their job that they’re supposed to be doing all of a sudden, when the fact of the matter is they’ve created this monster, this Frankenstein that we all have to deal with now," Ryan said.

Four people died as a result of the siege, including one woman who was fatally shot inside the Capitol building. Ryan, who heads the appropriations committee that funds the Capitol Police department, said officers did as well as they could considering the lack of support from federal authorities.. 

“The rank and file I think did the best they possibly could,” Ryan says. “They held the line, the breach that eventually happened, they held that for about an hour and 15 minutes.”

Ryan says there was a lot going on at once, such as the discovery of pipe bombs at the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee headquarters.

“We have 50 or 60 officers who are injured, 15 who went to the hospital, one is in critical condition,” Ryan said. “Getting hit with pipes in the head, a lot of head injuries.”

Because of the lack of preparation for such an event, Ryan said it was impossible for Capitol Police to arrest more people on the scene.

“It came down to the lack of support the Capitol Police and other sergeants in arm failed to get with the National Guard in the region and all the rest,” Ryan said. “There weren’t enough people to actually arrest.”

Citing calls from Ohio's two Trump-appointed U.S. Attorneys, Ryan echoed that he hopes more insurgents will be arrested down the road. 

Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.