Washington, D.C. –Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) issued the following statement for the record in support of H.Res. 21, a resolution calling on Vice President Michael R. Pence to convene and mobilize the principal officers of the executive departments of the Cabinet to activate section 4 of the 25thAmendment to declare President Donald J. Trump incapable of executing the duties of his office and to immediately exercise powers as acting President:
"Madame Speaker, I rise in strong support of H. Res. 21, calling on Vice President Pence to invoke his powers under the 25th Amendment. We are in the midst of a national emergency and President Trump must be removed from office immediately, before any further damage to this Capitol—or to our Republic—can be done.
"Last week’s violent attack on the Capitol took root more than 5 years ago when Donald Trump first descended the escalator at Trump Tower to announce his run for President.
"The hateful rhetoric, baseless accusations, and contempt for the democratic process were all on display that day. Later, they formed the foundation of his presidency. Last week, they reached a violent crescendo.
"After losing his bid for reelection—in decisive fashion—President Trump embarked on a campaign of misinformation aimed at delegitimizing the results of a free and fair election. When this failed, he tried to intimidate local election officials into reversing the results. When those brave public servants refused to do his bidding, he made one final desperate attempt to hold onto power by attacking the constitutionally mandated process of counting and certifying the electoral votes in a Joint Session of Congress.
"Although the President had willing volunteers to join him, Vice President Pence refused to exceed his limited authority and reject the results of the election. That is when the President unleashed his supporters to storm the Capitol. And the result—an armed insurrection—left in its wake lost lives, property destroyed, desecration of hallowed ground, and physical and emotional scars that may never fully heal.
"Vice President Pence upheld his constitutional duty and his oath of office that day. It is time for him to do so once more.
"Under the 25th Amendment, the Vice President, along with a majority of the members of the Cabinet, may inform Congress 'that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,' upon which 'the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.'
"This is not a step to be taken lightly—but it is the step that must be taken today.
"The President is clearly incapacitated and unable to exercise the powers of the presidency to protect the United States, as witnessed by the attack on the Capitol itself. Rather than immediately calling for an end to the violence and calling on his supporters to withdraw, the President waited several hours before releasing a half-hearted video that also expressed his “love” for the rioters who were 'special people.' All the while, he continued his efforts to subvert the election, seeking Senators who would object to the certification of as many as ten states’ electoral votes, without a shred of evidence that there was any reason to doubt their authenticity.
"And reports indicate that the threat that our country faced on January 6th—from a president who would do anything to hold onto power—is ongoing. It is a national crisis. It demands immediate action.
"I thank the Gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Raskin—a constitutional scholar and a valuable member of the Judiciary Committee—for bringing forward this important resolution, and I call upon the Vice President to do his constitutional duty and to protect the American people from one more day of a dangerous presidency."