In a newly released ABC survey, a full 56 percent of respondents said that they think that outgoing President Donald Trump should be removed from office before the official end of his term on January 20. The quickest way to remove Trump from power — besides a willful resignation — would be the invocation of the 25th Amendment, which allows the vice president and a majority of the president’s Cabinet members to formally certify that the president is unable to carry out his duties and thereby transfer the powers of the presidency to the vice president. The House is pursuing a second impeachment of Trump, but — even if enough Republicans supported the effort to give the Democrats’ side a majority during Senate proceedings — the impeachment process likely would extend beyond January 20.
No matter the short time left that Trump has in power, he can still do damage — which social media companies seem cognizant of, since, among other similar moves, Twitter recently removed Trump’s personal account from the platform, citing the risk of further incitement of violence. He openly incited the riot at the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, which is connected to at least five deaths, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died after a member of the pro-Trump mob struck him with a fire extinguisher. The outgoing president’s supporters “attacked police with pipes, sprayed irritants and even planted live bombs found in the area,” the Associated Press notes.
Opposition to the idea of Trump finishing his term falls along a predictable partisan breakdown, although even 13 percent of Republican respondents said that they support removing Trump from office before his term ends. A full 94 percent of Democrats supported removing Trump, while 58 percent of independent respondents said the same. Overall, a full 67 percent of respondents “lay blame squarely at Trump’s feet for the Wednesday riot and the unprecedented breach that led to the death of five,” ABC reports. Trump shared lies about the election and calls to urgent action before the violence unfolded, and after the rioting, he justified the developments on Twitter, saying that “these are the things and events that happen” when an election victory is stolen, which, of course, did not actually happen.
Two GOP Senators, including Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, have publicly stated that they too would like to see Trump out of power before the scheduled end of his term.