History & Politics

Maryland Democratic Leaders Seek President’s Removal; Hogan Says America “Better Off” Without Trump

Hogan says he’d like VP Mike Pence, longtime friend, to take the reins.

Maryland Congressman C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger, among the first Wednesday night to demand President Donald Trump’s removal from office, was joined Thursday by Maryland senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin, who called for the invocation of the 25th amendment, and failing that, impeachment. 

Gov. Larry Hogan said yesterday that the country would be “better off” if Trump would resign or be removed from office.

Hogan, who has said he was delayed by federal officials from sending Maryland National Guard to the U.S. Capitol Wednesday during the unfolding riot, did not specifically advocate for the invocation of the 25th amendment nor Trump’s impeachment as Maryland’s Democratic leaders did. But he did make it clear he believed Trump should turn over government control to Vice President Mike Pence.

“I think there’s no question that America would be better off if the president would resign or be removed from office,” Hogan said, “and if Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States, would conduct a peaceful transition of power over the next 13 days until President Biden is sworn in.”

During a press conference Thursday, Hogan told reporters that he was in the middle of a video conference with the Japanese ambassador to the U.S. when he received an urgent call from Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer Wednesday. The No. 2 leader in the House of Representatives informed Hogan that he was with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate leader Charles Schumer “in an undisclosed bunker they’d been spirited off to.” 

Hogan said Hoyer told him the U.S. Capitol Police were “overwhelmed” and pleaded with Hogan to send the state’s National Guard, but the Maryland governor explained he had not received authorization. 

Maryland’s Democratic Congressional leadership decried Trump’s role in inciting the siege of the U.S. Capitol, which has now led to the death of five Americans after a Capitol police officer died from injuries during the attack.

Just hours after the insurrection effort was over, Ruppersberger, a long-serving national defense expert who has served on the House’s Intelligence and Armed Services committees, called on Pence and cabinet secretaries to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would deem the President Donald Trump unable to discharge of his duties and remove him from office.

Van Hollen followed suit Thursday, also calling for Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment for Trump’s role instigating Wednesday’s “seditious attack on our democracy.” Failing that, Van Hollen called on Congress to move to impeach Trump

“Each day he remains in the White House is a threat to our country,” Van Hollen said in a statement. “VP Pence must invoke the 25th amendment. If he and the Cabinet won’t act, Congress should move to impeach.”

Maryland Rep. John Sarbanes said Donald Trump, “has long demonstrated that he is unfit to hold the office of the Presidency, but his recent statements culminating in yesterday’s thinly cloaked invitation to rioters to descend upon the U.S. Capitol punctuated just how dangerous the situation has become.” 

Sarbanes said that “even for the short time between now and January 20th, he poses a threat to the safety and security of the United States. He should be removed—either by invocation of the 25th Amendment or by impeachment.”

The state’s Democratic Party also called for the resignation of Maryland’s lone Republican representative, Andy Harris, a conservative who represents the Eastern Shore and much of north central Maryland. Harris was among the GOP-elected House representatives who voted to challenge the presidential election certification results after Congress reconvened late Wednesday and early Thursday morning. 

“For months, President Donald Trump and Representative Andy Harris…have made baseless claims, filed frivolous lawsuits, and attempted to overturn certified state results through congressional actions,” the state Democratic Party said in a statement. “[Wednesday], we saw the results of their inflammatory rhetoric and blatant falsehoods.”

Maryland Congressman Kweisi Mfume, who represents parts of Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Howard County, said the president had “blood on his hands” and was “guilty of treason, sedition, and inciting a riot.”

“His actions yesterday, and over the course of four years, have been egregious, despicable, and most of all—deliberate,” Mfume said in a statement. “For too long he’s benefitted from his cloak of immunity.”

Mfume said he supported all calls to legally and constitutionally remove Trump from office. He said that he is working with members of the Judiciary Committee and has cosponsored legislation that will be introduced next week to start the impeachment process of the president and “will also permanently disqualify him from holding and enjoying any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States of America.”