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Chellie Pingree: Calls To Remove Trump From Office Are Gaining Steam

Kris Bridges
For Maine Public
Chellie Pingree at Maine Public's 1st District debate in October.

Support for removing President Donald Trump from office within the next two weeks is growing on Capitol Hill.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District has called for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which would allow him, with the consent of a majority of the cabinet, to remove the President. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced support for the move on Thursday.

Pingree told Maine Public’s Mal Leary that she believes the effort is gaining traction.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Pingree: Well, I think there’s strong support for it, and I’ve heard it from inside the House, from outside the House, you know, members of the military — the vice president should do this. The president is no friend to him, and he saw what happened yesterday. He was in the thick of it, and there are cabinet members, at least one has already resigned. And this is the time to say, you know, we’re putting an end to this for the future of our country.

It may only be two weeks, but we’ve watched extreme damage at the hands of this president, and already see him doing things that no one ever imagined a United States president would do, and I think he should be removed from office now.

Leary: Is there a fear among members that he’s going to do something else equally offensive as inciting the riot that occurred at the Capitol?

Well, he managed to incite a major riot at the Capitol that we hadn’t seen the likes of since 1812. Four people died. It created, you know, chaos and terror in our own Capitol, and it’s being noticed by countries all around the world wondering what’s happened to the United States of America. Look, we never imagined that he would do that yesterday. Who knows what he will do tomorrow?

It’s also important for a nation to say, you know, this isn’t right. This president does not represent the United States of America, and actually, there could be no more powerful way to say that than to have the vice president and his own cabinet say, you know, ‘We don’t believe in this. This isn’t what we signed up for.’

Speaker Pelosi at her news conference made it clear that if the vice president doesn’t act she’s going to call the House back and impeach the president. Do you support that course of action?

I do. There are already two resolutions of impeachment circulating, and I’m signing onto both of them. Again, I believe it’s just really important to make this statement to say what the president did and has been doing is not right. We don’t stand for this in America, and we have to make a statement.

The time is short. Impeachment is complicated. Whether or not it could be accomplished, it’s hard to say, but I think the fact of introducing the resolutions and attempting to move forward, if in fact the cabinet does not act, I think that’s important at this moment in time.

How much time do you think Congress should give the vice president to act on the 25th Amendment before you go to the route of impeachment?

Speaker Pelosi said she didn’t think it would take very long for Vice President Pence to make a decision so I would not be surprised if she decides to move forward on Friday.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.