This is a dangerous time for the future of our nation and for the democratic principles and constitutionally defined framework that are its foundation. After lying repeatedly about the outcome of last November’s presidential election, President Trump recently attempted to convince the Georgia Secretary of State to falsify vote counts to help himself stay in power. And on January 6, 2021, Mr. Trump incited right-wing extremists to violent acts of domestic terrorism and insurrection in a coup attempt against Congress. Those terrorists gained control of the House and Senate chambers and offices, only failing because the power of Congress rests not in the halls but in its elected members, who were removed to safety as control of the building was lost.
Our democracy survived that failed coup attempt, but the danger to our nation does not end there. If we fail today to hold a sitting president answerable for his attacks on our democracy and for undermining our Constitution instead of defending it, then we are telling the world our Constitution is a nice idea, but not one worth defending. Failure to act makes a mockery of every elected official’s oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Senator Susan Collins famously voted against impeachment last year, saying that the president had “learned a pretty big lesson.” Unfortunately, the lesson he learned was that he could continue to act against the nation’s interests with impunity. We urge Senator Collins to show that she herself has learned a lesson, that this president will not stop his dangerous behavior and must be removed from office before the damage is irreparable.
It is the sworn duty of the vice president, other Cabinet members, and both houses of Congress to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The time has come in which inaction is a failure to honor that oath. Only by exercising the constitutionally provided means for the Cabinet through Article 25, or for Congress through impeachment and conviction, can we make clear to every person in these United States, and to the rest of the world, that our Constitution is worth defending, and that insurrection and treason will be answered swiftly and justly in defense of our nation.
It has been reported that the vice president has indicated a lack of interest in pursuing Article 25. We thank Senator Angus King and Representative Chellie Pingree for publicly calling for that action. We call upon Senator Susan Collins to join them in taking a stand for her country and urging Vice President Pence and the president’s Cabinet to do their duty under Article 25 immediately to find the president unfit to fulfill his duties, thus transferring power to the vice president. Failing success in that endeavor, we ask that all our members of Congress support impeachment and removal of the president through the impeachment process.
We cannot have a person occupying the office of the presidency of the United States who has encouraged acts of sedition and treason against our country.
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