He should also be investigated for sedition, rebellion, or insurrection
Media Contacts: Danielle Brian, Executive Director at the Project On Government Oversight (POGO); or Caitlin MacNeal, Communications Manager at POGO, [email protected].
(WASHINGTON)—Danielle Brian, Executive Director of the Project On Government Oversight, issued the following statement:
President Donald Trump must be removed from office as soon as legally possible, and officials should take the steps necessary to bar him from ever holding public office again.
The attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday by pro-Trump extremists did not occur in a vacuum. Even before the general election, Trump was baselessly attacking our nation’s election process and sowing the seeds of unrest. He continued after the election, spreading misinformation that the election was rigged against him, refusing to concede and inciting violence. These actions led to the attempted insurrection: Some of his supporters descended on the nation’s capital to wreak havoc. They forced their way into the very building in which lawmakers were working to certify the results of a free and fair election.
On Wednesday, Trump stood by as his lawyer urged rallygoers to engage in “trial by combat.” Trump later defended the insurrection as “the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.”
There must be severe consequences for this kind of misinformation and dangerous behavior from the head of our government. Our leaders must send an unequivocal message that such subversion of democracy and incitement to violence by a president of the United States can never be allowed to happen again.
The first step in this accountability process must be to remove Trump from office. We call on Congress to immediately return to session, impeach and convict Trump, and take the further step of disqualifying him from holding public office ever again.
We also urge Vice President Mike Pence and members of the cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. Even though he only has two weeks remaining as president, Trump is dangerous and unfit to lead this country even one day longer.
The second step must be to investigate Trump and other senior officials to determine whether they engaged in sedition, rebellion, or insurrection. The incoming attorney general must be willing to hold accountable any official who is found to have engaged in criminal wrongdoing, even after the presidential transition takes place. Inciting domestic terrorism requires accountability—no one is above the law, and no one should be able to escape accountability simply by leaving office.
Trump is not the only elected official who played a role in inciting the would-be insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday. Congressional lawmakers who spread election-related lies and stoked anger in Trump’s followers contributed to the toxic environment in which yesterday’s events occurred. They must similarly be held responsible for their actions, and we will pursue accountability for them as well.
As a nation, we face a long, tough path ahead to strengthen our democracy. The Project On Government Oversight is steadfastly committed to pushing for the remedies that will help this healing take place. We cannot let this dark moment in history leave a permanent stain on our republic.
Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that investigates and exposes waste, corruption, abuse of power, and when the government fails to serve the public or silences those who report wrongdoing.
We champion reforms to achieve a more effective, ethical, and accountable federal government that safeguards constitutional principles.