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Vice President Pence presiding over a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6. Photo: Saul Loeb - Pool/Getty Images

House Judiciary Committee Democrats called on Vice President Mike Pence in a letter Wednesday to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Trump from office, saying he incited the riot that violently breached the U.S. Capitol earlier that day.

Why it matters: The letter comes as Republican officials are considering drastic steps to stop the president, including censure, impeachment or invoking the 25th Amendment, which would allow Pence to step in if  Trump were found to be unable to perform his duties, Axios' Jonathan Swan and Margaret Talev report.

What they're saying: "For the sake of our democracy, we emphatically urge you to invoke the 25th Amendment and begin the process of removing President Trump from office," the letter, led by Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), reads.

  • "President Trump has shown time and again that he is unwilling to protect our democracy and carry out the duties of the office."

Context: In his speech before the riot on Capitol Hill, Trump encouraged his supporters to "walk down Pennsylvania Avenue" and "go to the Capitol" to give "weak" Republicans "the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country."

Go deeper: Republicans turn on Trump after mob violence at the Capitol

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

Jan 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

House panels reviewing what intel agencies knew before deadly Capitol siege

A man calls on people to raid the building as Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images.

The House Intelligence, Oversight, Judiciary and Homeland Security committees have opened a review of the events and intelligence surrounding the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol and other threats to the peaceful transfer of power, the panels said in a letter to federal intelligence agencies Saturday.

Why it matters: Law enforcement and intelligence agencies have faced sharp criticism for not being better prepared for the Capitol riot, despite reports that far-right Trump supporters discussed the idea of a violent protest on social media and chat platforms in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 event.

Jan 16, 2021 - Podcasts

How It Happened: Trump's Last Stand

Introducing a new show from Axios, How It Happened: Trump's Last Stand.

In How It Happened: Trump's Last Stand, national political reporter Jonathan Swan reveals the inside story of Donald Trump’s last few months in office.

  • Staring with Trump's COVID-19 recovery, this is the deeply reported story of what really led up to the insurrection on the Capitol and the current unprecedented moment.
  • Swan will take listeners into the Oval Office, onto Air Force One, and behind closed doors, sharing previously unreported details.
  • New episodes will publish on Mondays, beginning Jan. 18.

Credits: This show is produced by Amy Pedulla, Naomi Shavin and Alice Wilder. Dan Bobkoff is the executive producer. Margaret Talev is managing editor of politics. Sara Kehaulani Goo is Axios’s executive editor. Sound design by Alex Sugiura and original music by Michael Hanf.