US Capitol Riot: Illinois congress members, governor join call to remove President Trump from office

ByCraig Wall and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team and Jesse Kirsch WLS logo
Friday, January 8, 2021
Trump promises peaceful transition in video after violent mob storms Capitol
President Trump struck a more measured tone, promising a peacfeul transition in a Thursday evening video, one day after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol building.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- State and federal Illinois lawmakers -- including Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Democratic Rep. Lauren Underwood, and Governor JB Pritzker -- have joined calls for President Donald Trump to be removed from office immediately after a riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Trump publicly condemned the violence in a social media video Thursday evening, and for the first time signaled an end to the fight he has waged since Election Day, promising to work with his successor in the remaining days of his presidency. But that won't do anything to derail the efforts to remove him from office, which are gaining supporters and urgency.

WATCH: Chaos in US Capitol unfolds on social media

Videos shared on social media show how a pro-Trump rally devolved into chaos as hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The backlash against President Trump has transcended just criticism of him for instigating the violence that put Congress under siege.

"What needs to happen is that President Trump needs to be removed from office immediately," said Underwood, who represents Illinois' 14th District.

Governor Pritzker asked Congress to impeach the President and immediately remove him from office for encouraging what he called a "coup."

Pritzker took to Twitter Wednesday night, saying: "I don't make a statement like this lightly: Two weeks is too long for Donald Trump to remain in office, where he can continue to incite more untold violence."

RELATED: Congress validates Biden's presidential victory; 4 dead after Trump mob storms US Capitol

Rep. Brad Schneider also released a statement Thursday morning calling for President Trump to be removed from office, saying in part:

"If Mr. Trump will not step up to the task of leading our nation as President, then he should immediately step down. If he will neither lead nor step down, then he has proven himself 'unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,' and it is therefore necessary that the Vice President immediately invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office."

US Rep. Schneider: 'These were nothing short of terrorists'

U.S. Representative Brad Schneider describes what it was like as rioters broke into the U.S. Capitol.

Republican Adam Kinzinger also called for the 25th Amendment to be invoked by the vice president and the Cabinet to declare the president unfit to continue to hold the office.

"All indications are that the president has become unmoored, not just from his duty, or even his health, but from reality itself. It is for this reason that I call for the vice president and members of the cabinet to ensure that the next few weeks are safe for the American people, and that we have a sane captain of the ship," Kinzinger said.

Senator Dick Durbin said the mob was inspired by a president who cannot accept defeat.

"The vote we are going to have here is a clear choice of whether we are going to feed the beast of ignorance or we are going tell the truth to the American people," Senator Durbin said. "We saw that beast today roaming the halls. Let's not invite it back."

Illinlois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger speaks from lockdown as Trump supporters storm the capitol, predicting if they stay on this path the GOP "will be a failed party in the nea

Senator Tammy Duckworth was emotional in her plea to her Republican colleagues seeking to challenge the electoral votes.

"All that I'm asking of you is to reflect on the oaths that you have sworn on the damage done to our union today and on the sacrifices made by those who have given so much by this nation."

Illinois lawmakers sheltered in place as a violent mob of Trump supporters trying to stop the certification of Joe Biden's election win breached the US Capitol.

Bill Foster (D-IL 11th District) said he was on his way to the capitol but not there yet when the mob breached the building. He said he was sheltering several blocks away.

"This is something that, really the responsibility for this lies at the foot of every politician who's tolerated lies, and threats of violence, really over the last decade or more," Foster told ABC7 Eyewitness News. "

Democratic Congressman Sean Casten is among those calling for impeachment.

WATCH: Lawmakers huddle as police stand-off with mob at House Chamber door

Video from inside the U.S. House of Representatives chamber shows members huddling on the balcony as U.S. Capitol officers stand-off with a mob outside the chamber door.

"This is a man who cannot be trusted with any responsibility right now he is spiraling in a narcissistic rage," Casten said, "And we have to protect the country first."

"Here's my concern, the president has acted contrite when he's misbehaved before, then he's gone back to form," Rep. Mike Quigley said. "I think he's not of right mind."

Desite the chaos that disrupted the vote to certify the electoral outcome, more than half of republicans still voted to overturn the results in Arizona and Pennsylvania, those efforts failed.

WATCH: Lawmakers huddle as police stand-off with mob at House Chamber door

Video from inside the U.S. House of Representatives chamber shows members huddling on the balcony as U.S. Capitol officers stand-off with a mob outside the chamber door.

Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) released a statement saying, "The rioting and violence I saw and heard at the Capitol today brought back painful memories of the Congressional baseball shooting in Virginia a few short years ago. Political violence of any kind is never acceptable and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. There's no excuse for what we saw today. It's unpatriotic and un-American. Political leaders, from Congress to the White House, have an obligation to be voices of reason and calming in times of national crisis. That time is now.

"The peaceful transfer of power is a bedrock principle of American democracy. Members of Congress must uphold our oaths to the Constitution, do our jobs, and resume the process of governing our great Nation. I want to thank the men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police and others in the law enforcement community who put their lives on the line today and every single day to keep us safe. They have an extremely difficult and dangerous job and today they secured what was an extremely dangerous and unprecedented situation. Please pray for them and their families and pray for our great Nation."