THE Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd John Davies, has urged the United States to remove the outgoing President Donald Trump from power before the inauguration of Joe Biden on 20 January, citing “gross, obvious, and anti-democratic” behaviour.
The 25th Amendment allows a majority of a body such as Congress to declare the president “unable to discharge the powers and duties” of their office in a written declaration. Archbishop Davies made the call in response to the storming of the US Capitol in Washington by Trump supporters on Wednesday which ended in violence. Four people were killed in the rioting.
The attack took place as Congress was meeting to certify the votes of the Electoral College and confirm President-elect Mr Biden’s victory, which Mr Trump and a Republican faction in Congress have sought to overturn on false grounds. Mr Trump had encouraged the protests in an attempt to overturn his defeat in the presidential election.
Archbishop Davies said on Thursday: “For a number of years, the President of the United States has shown himself, and has been shown by others, to be a person of questionable morals, judgement, and wisdom. He has been given to inflammatory rhetoric and intemperate, prejudicial public statements.
“Now, in recent days, he has shown himself to be possessed of a shameful self-image which, he evidently believes, permits him to ignore the democratic processes of his country and the democratically expressed will of its people. It is with such a mindset and self-image that he chose, yesterday, to incite others to engage in behaviour which has resulted in mayhem, injury, and death at the Capitol.
“His country and its people deserved and deserve better.”
The UK Government has not directly condemned Mr Trump, only the violence. The Archbishop said that it “must make it absolutely clear that they condemn such actions and attitudes”.
He continued: “Even though the Trump presidency is in its dying days, and despite the fact that one nation should not seek to interfere in the processes of another, I would hope that those in a position to do so would seriously consider invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and end it immediately.
“This would be no empty gesture because no politician has a right to determine that they are unaccountable for their behaviour. When such behaviour is so gross, obvious, and anti-democratic, it should not be allowed to pass.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury did not mention Mr Trump in his brief statement, in which he called for prayer, but said that there would “be many lessons to be learned from the scenes in Washington”.
The Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, also asked for prayers for the US and “a peaceful transition of power”. He said: “Our world needs a different sort of politics that must begin with respect for our democratic institutions and respect for those with whom we disagree.”