A solid majority of Americans “want Republican President Donald Trump to be immediately removed from office after he encouraged a protest this week that escalated into a deadly riot inside the U.S. Capitol,” according to a new Reuters/ Ipsos poll. A full 57 percent of respondents called for Trump’s immediate exit in the aftermath of his incitement of a violent storming of the U.S. Capitol building that forced top legislators to flee for their safety — and possibly lives, considering reported remarks from rioters about trying to find Vice President Mike Pence in order to hang him. One rioter was photographed with plastic zip-tie handcuffs, as if they hoped to take hostages.
Unsurprisingly, there’s a significant partisan split on the question of whether Trump should leave office immediately. About 90 percent of Democrats said that Trump should immediately leave the White House, while only about 20 percent of Republicans said the same — although even that comparatively low level is a striking amount of opposition to Trump finishing his term from within his own party. Although Trump does not have a lot of time left in office, he currently retains the powers of the presidency and could still do significant damage — a threat that many seem cognizant of, since Twitter banned Trump’s account this week, citing the potential of further incitement of violence.
Recently, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that she spoke to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley about “available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.” In other words, the Speaker wanted to know what protections stood between Trump and launching a nuclear strike, because these are the kinds of potential issues that remain. Milley’s spokesperson, Col. Dave Butler, said that the top general “answered [Pelosi’s] questions regarding the process of nuclear command authority.” A top military official commented to POLITICO that there’s “no mythical red button,” seeking to ease concerns about the potential for the outgoing president to launch a nuclear strike out of the blue.
The House is apparently planning to introduce new articles of impeachment against the president this coming week. About 30 percent of respondents in the new Reuters poll said that Trump should be removed from office according to the provisions of the 25th Amendment, which would require the cooperation of the vice president and a majority of Cabinet officials, while 14 percent said that Congress should impeach Trump, and 13 percent said that he should resign, removing himself willingly.