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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday called for Vice President Mike Pence and members of President Trump's Cabinet to remove him from office via the 25th Amendment.

Driving the news: Pelosi accused Trump of committing "seditious acts" and said keeping him in office for the next 13 days would be "very dangerous." She emphasized that the "overwhelming sentiment" of her caucus is to impeach Trump if Pence or the Cabinet do not act.

Why it matters: It's a forceful demand by Democratic leadership, underscoring the severity of the situation after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Some confidants and Republican officials have privately considered invoking the 25th Amendment, which has long been dismissed as a liberal fantasy.

  • Schumer said that if the Cabinet does not exercise the 25th Amendment, Congress should reconvene to impeach and remove Trump. Pelosi said the House may consider that option. No president has ever been impeached twice.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), a frequent critic of the president, became the first Republican in Congress to call for the 25th Amendment to be invoked on Thursday.

Where it stands: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) shared a screenshot of articles of impeachment that she said had "already been drafted" by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and "are ready for introduction." More "members are signing on," Ocasio-Cortez said.

What they're saying: “What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president. This president should not hold office one day longer," Schumer said in a statement.

  • “The quickest and most effective way — it can be done today — to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th amendment. If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president," he said.
  • Pelosi denounced Trump supporters that breached the Capitol on Thursday as "terrorists."

Of note: Congress is out of session until Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/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. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

Chuck Schumer is now majority leader as 3 new Democratic senators are sworn in

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is officially Senate majority leader after the inauguration of Vice President Kamala Harris and the swearing-in of new Sens. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.).

Why it matters: With a 50-50 Senate, Schumer will control a narrow majority with Harris as the tie-breaking vote. Democratic control of the Senate is crucial to President Biden's agenda, from getting his coronavirus relief proposal passed to forgiving student debt.

McConnell: Trump "provoked" Capitol mob

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

Why it matters: Trump was impeached by the House last week for "incitement of insurrection." McConnell has not said how he will vote in Trump's coming Senate impeachment trial, but sources told Axios' Mike Allen that the chances of him voting to convict are higher than 50%.