US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer have called for the urgent removal of President Donald Trump from power.
"This is an emergency of the highest magnitude," Pelosi said Thursday following violence at the US Capitol a day earlier, branding Trump "a very dangerous person who should not continue in office."
She called on Vice President Mike Pence and Trump's cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment which allows for a cabinet majority to remove a president deemed unable to discharge his duties.
"If the vice president and cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment,” she said, adding, "The president has committed an unspeakable assault on our nation and our people.”
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer also said that Trump should be removed from office, adding what the incumbent has done recently is “a manifestly impeachable offense.”
“The President's abuse of power, his incitement of a mob against a duly elected representative body of the United States is a manifestly impeachable offense if there ever was an impeachable offense, what the President did was it."
On Wednesday, armed protesters broke into the US Capitol, forcing the chamber to halt the ongoing vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s election win.
After two months of refusal to accept his defeat in the November 3 election, Trump sparked violence in the Capitol, calling on his supporters to “fight like hell.”
Meanwhile, Biden said Thursday that Trump has “made his contempt for our democracy, the Constitution, the rule of law, clear in everything he has done."
Speaking in Wilmington, Delaware, he said Trump "unleashed an all-out assault on the institutions of our democracy from the outset, and yesterday was but the culmination of that unrelenting attack."
The violence overwhelmed police and drove Congress from its chambers. House members and senators fled the scene as shots were fired to disperse the crowd. Police later cleared US Capitol of the Trump supporters and enforced curfew.
Congress then reconvened and early on Thursday confirmed Biden's presidential election victory. He will be sworn into office on Jan. 20.
Pelosi calls on Capitol Police chief to resign
Pelosi also called on Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund to resign after the federal force tasked with protecting Congress failed to prevent supporters of Trump to storm the Capitol.
As crowds advanced, angry supporters of Trump entered the halls of Congress and disrupted certification of Biden's victory, forcing the legislators to flee.
They also ransacked lawmakers’ offices and left threatening messages in the building among other things. The rampage that lasted hours left four people dead. One woman was shot by police and three others died of medical emergencies.
"He hasn't even called us since this happened," Pelosi said of Sund.
"Many of our Capitol Police just acted so bravely and with such concern for the staff, the members, for the Capitol ... and they deserve our gratitude. But there was a failure at the top of the Capitol Police," said Pelosi.