WASHINGTON D.C. (WRIC) — Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Sen. Marker Warner (D-VA.) are joining calls to invoke the 25th amendment to force the removal of President Donald Trump after his supporters attacked the United States Capitol on Wednesday.
“So that we don’t have a commander-in-chief who is completely deranged,” Kaine said during a virtual briefing with reporters on Thursday morning.
Warner believes Trump’s actions are grounds for impeachment but he “candidly doubts” that Congress has the time to pull that together before President-Elect Joe Biden’s Inauguration. However, he said he has started contacting members of Trump’s cabinet in regards to the 25th Amendment, asking them to consider “how they want to be remembered by history.”
In addition, Kaine said that President Trump should not be allowed to attend Biden’s Inauguration.
Both of Virginia’s senators are also calling for an investigation into how a security breach was allowed to happen. Warner, whose now the Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman, said the FBI assured him that they would be ready. Yet Warner said there was no “robust plan” and the response they saw on Wednesday was an “embarrassment.”
Kaine said there were “major errors” in planning and a noticeable disparity comparing the response to Black Lives Matter demonstrations earlier this year.
“These law enforcement professionals knew what was coming and they were inadequately prepared to a shocking degree,” Kaine said. “We spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year to defend this nation and yet we couldn’t defend the Capitol from people with Confederate flags and Auschwitz t-shirts.”
“Anyone who still questions whether systemic racism exists in our country need only think about what would have happened if this would have been if this has been a Black Lives Matter group of protestors and not a Trump mob,” Warner said.
Kaine said the “insurrectionists” should be thoroughly investigated and appropriately charged. He called their actions domestic terrorism and an effort to overthrow the U.S. government.
In interviews with 8News on Thursday, Republican Reps. Rob Wittman (R-D1) and Morgan Griffith (R-D9) condemned the violence but they stopped short of calling for Trump’s removal.
“The bottom line is this is an extraordinary measure that is given to the cabinet and for me to weigh in on that I think would be inappropriate,” Griffith said when asked about the 25th amendment.
Wittman also declined to take a stance, saying instead, “The president has indicated that there will be a peaceful transition. I don’t want to further exacerbate tensions and emotions that are out there now.”
While some conservatives had a change of heart after the attack, all four Republicans in Virginia’s Congressional Delegation supported at least one objection to counting Biden’s electoral votes, including Griffith, Wittman, Rep. Ben Cline (R-D6) and Rep. Bob Good (R-D5).
To this, Kaine said, “It’s outrageous and I’ll tell you it is also spineless…is their anything easier and more chicken sh** than objecting to results in some other states…because those voters can’t hold you accountable…they were willing to disenfranchise people.”
Wittman stood by his decision to support an objection against Pennsylvania’s certification.
“I was very specific about saying let’s have the debate,” Wittman said. “I knew the election was not going to be overturned. I knew too that Vice President Pence didn’t have the Constitutional authority to do anything other than just opening the envelopes, counting the votes and adjudicating an objection.”
On Thursday, Griffith recognized Biden as the next president after previously refusing to do so. 8News asked him to respond to critics who argue repeated claims of election fraud from Republicans are to blame for the attack.
“I don’t think you can say that following the Constitution and doing our jobs caused the violence. Now did the rhetoric leading up to that stimulate and get people excited and did the President not tamp it down when he should’ve yesterday? I would agree that’s true. The president should’ve told everybody ‘have your peaceful protest. Don’t do anything violent.'”
This story is developing. Stay with 8News for updates.