WASHINGTON (WRIC/WAVY) — U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) is joining calls to invoke the 25th Amendment to force the removal of President Donald Trump after his supporters attacked the United States Capitol on Wednesday.
“So that we don’t have a commander-in-chief who is completely deranged,” Kaine said during a virtual briefing with reporters on Thursday morning. He called the events a “riot, insurrection, domestic terrorism.”
In a separate news briefing, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said he also thought the 25th Amendment should be “on the table.”
Under the 25th Amendment, the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet could declare the president unable to “discharge the powers and duties of his office” and put Vice President Mike Pence in charge. If Trump disputes the determination, two-thirds of the House and Senate would need to vote to put the vice president in charge.
At this time it doesn’t appear that Pence or most of the cabinet is on board, despite several members of the administration resigning. At least one Republican, Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, has called for the 25th Amendment to be used.
If the 25th Amendment isn’t triggered, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) says Congress should reconvene to impeach Trump. Democratic representatives from Virginia, Donald McEachin and Jennifer Wexton, are among those calling for impeachment.
The Senate has adjourned until Jan. 19, and the House adjourned until after the inauguration on Jan. 20.
Kaine also said that Trump should not be allowed to attend the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden.
Additionally, he’s calling for an investigation into how a security breach was allowed to happen, saying there were”major errors” in planning and a noticeable disparity comparing the response to Black Lives Matter demonstrations earlier this year.
“These law enforcement professionals knew what was coming and they were inadequately prepared to a shocking degree,” Kaine said. “We spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year to defend this nation and yet we couldn’t defend the Capitol from people with Confederate flags and Auschwitz T-shirts.”
Warner, who is the incoming chair of the Senate intelligence and in close contact with the FBI and said, “They, on a regular basis, reassured me that they had the resources and appropriate intelligence to take on this threat… they were flat wrong.”
The chief of the U.S. Capitol Police said more than 50 Capitol and Washington police officers were injured on Wednesday and several Capitol Police officers were hospitalized with serious injuries.
Kaine said the insurrectionists should be thoroughly investigated and appropriately charged. He called their actions domestic terrorism and an effort to overthrow the U.S. government. Two people from Mathews County, Virginia, Cindy Fitchett and Douglas Sweet, were arrested.
Warner also wants social media platforms held accountable.
“My message to Facebook, Youtube, Twitter… The blood and destruction that took place in our Capitol yesterday at least part of that responsibility is on your hands,” he said , and then vowed “to go after social media companies with a new set of policies.”
All four Republicans in Virginia’s Congressional Delegation supported at least one objection to counting Biden’s electoral votes: Reps. Ben Cline, Bob Good, Morgan Griffith and Virginia’s Rob Wittman.
Asked about their objections, Kaine said, “It’s outrageous and I’ll tell you it is also spineless…is their anything easier and more chicken s–t than objecting to results in some other states… because those voters can’t hold you accountable… they were willing to disenfranchise people.”
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