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Sen. Sherrod Brown Wants President Trump Removed Through 25th Amendment

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, comments on the final statement of House Democratic impeachment manager House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., on Jan. 24, 2020.
Jacquelyn Martin
Associated Press
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, comments on the final statement of House Democratic impeachment manager House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., on Jan. 24, 2020.

Sen. Sherrod Brown is doubling down on his calls for President Trump to be removed through the 25th Amendment, which would require Vice President Mike Pence and a majority of the Cabinet to declare Trump unfit for office.

Brown is also urging Republican leaders to set the record straight with Trump voters who wrongly believe the election was stolen.

“We need our Republican colleagues in Ohio and across the country to say specifically, ‘There was no fraud. The president isn’t telling the truth.’ They still won’t say that," Brown told reporters in a Friday news conference.

Brown says he’d also support impeachment of Trump, though he admits getting that done before Inauguration Day could be a challenge. Several Democratic members of Ohio's congressional delegation, including Rep. Joyce Beatty and Rep. Tim Ryan, also support impeachment.

However, Brown says his strong preference would be for the 25th Amendment to be invoked now.

“A huge number of Americans, including a number of high ranked Republicans over the years, are very concerned about what this president might do in the next 12 days," Brown says. "That’s why I hope that the Cabinet and the vice president invoke the 25th Amendment, because then it will not look partisan."

However, Brown said that if House members votes on articles of impeachment, the Senate should act quickly.

“If impeachment looks imminent in the House, we will all be prepared to return, and we should vote, we should do that trial in one day and move,” Brown said.

Five people, including one Capitol Police officer, were killed as a result of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The a mob of pro-Trump extremists broke into the building and vandalized it, forcing Congress members who were certifying the Electoral College results – including Brown – to flee from the House and Senate chambers.

“I spent 4.5 hours with 75 senator locked in a room this week. Impeachment didn’t really come up, per se, but the 25th Amendment did,” Brown said. “Republican senators are not going to tell me that they support it, but I know a number do think it’s a good idea to do the 25th Amendment.”

Yet, Brown noted the mob that was responsible for Wednesday's event was not met with the same forceful police presence that Black Lives Matter protesters experienced last summer. He said that difference is one more thing that underscores the need for systemic change – something he said hasn’t been addressed under this Congress and the Trump administration.

“So much of this was so difficult with a president that always played to people’s baseless motives and a sycophantic Congress that always went along with this president," Brown says.

Other members of Ohio’s congressional delegation are pressing for an explanation as to how the mob overwhelmed Capitol Police. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said Friday he planned to hold hearings on the security failures.

“Wednesday’s violent and criminal acts directed at our Capitol, a symbol of American Democracy, will forever be a stain on our nation’s history,” Portman said in a statement released by his office. “Due to the heroic acts of many, the perpetrators of this attack failed to achieve their goal.”

Portman made the announcement jointly with ranking member Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and the leaders of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

Rep. Tim Ryan, chairman of the committee that funds the Capitol Police, has announced the launch of a similar investigation in the House.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are to be sworn into office on January 20. Much of that ceremony will be virtual due to coronavirus concerns, a decision that was made before Wednesday's insurrection. Trump said Friday that he will not attend the inauguration.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.