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Trump's Cabinet discussed removing him after mob violence: Reports

Congress certifies President-elect Biden's win hours after harrowing Capitol Hill assault

WASHINGTON The mob chaos in the halls of the Capitol was followed by a near revolt in the White House.

That did not come from the US President's supporters but from members of Mr Donald Trump's own Cabinet which discussed the possibility of removing him from office, three US news channels reported.

The discussion on Wednesday focused on the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution, which allows for a president's removal by the vice-president and Cabinet if he is judged "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office".

Invoking it would require Vice-President Mike Pence to lead the Cabinet in a vote on removing Mr Trump.

CNN quoted unnamed Republican leaders saying the 25th Amendment had been discussed, adding that they had described Mr Trump as "out of control".

That eventually did not take place, and hours after hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in a harrowing assault on American democracy, a shaken Congress formally certified Democrat Joe Biden's election victory.

Immediately afterwards, the White House released a statement from Mr Trump in which he pledged an "orderly transition" when Mr Biden is sworn into office on Jan 20, although he repeated his false claim that he won the November election.

The outcome of the certification proceedings had never been in doubt but was interrupted by rioters who forced their way past metal security barricades, broke windows and scaled walls to fight their way into the Capitol.

The police said four people died during the chaos - one, Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, a 14-year veteran who served four tours with the US Air Force, from gunshot wounds - and three from medical emergencies. A total of 52 people were arrested.

Some besieged the House Chamber while lawmakers were inside, banging on doors and forcing suspension of the certification debate.

Security officers piled furniture against the chamber's door and drew their pistols before helping lawmakers and others escape.

Following yesterday's certification by Congress, Mr Trump issued a statement saying: "Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th."

BLAME

Some prominent Republicans in Congress put the blame for the day's violence squarely on his shoulders.

"There is no question that the President formed the mob, the President incited the mob, the President addressed the mob. He lit the flame," House Republican Conference chair Liz Cheney said on Twitter.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who had long remained silent while Mr Trump sought to overturn the election result, called the invasion a "failed insurrection" and referred to those who had stormed the Capitol as "unhinged". - AFP, REUTERS

 

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