U.S. diplomats ask Cabinet to consider removing Trump from office
WASHINGTON >> In a highly unusual move, American diplomats have drafted two cables condemning President Donald Trump’s instigation of the fatal assault on the Capitol and urging administrative officials to possibly support the 25th Amendment to appeal to remove him from office.
Foreign officials and civil servants, using the State Department’s so-called “dissent channel”, feared the siege last Wednesday could seriously undermine the US’s credibility in promoting and defending democratic values abroad.
“If we do not hold the president publicly accountable, it would further damage our democracy and our ability to effectively achieve our foreign policy goals abroad,” said the second of the two cables that were distributed to diplomats late last week and then to the Foreign Ministry were sent leadership.
The cable urged Pompeo to support all legitimate efforts by Vice President Mike Pence and other cabinet members to protect the country, including through “the possible implementation of the procedures provided for in Article 4 of the 25th Amendment, if applicable”. The change allows the vice-president and a majority of the cabinet to declare a president incapable of office, and the vice-president then becomes the incumbent president.
The cables were an extraordinary protest by American diplomats against a sitting US president who long complained that the Trump administration ignored and diminished its role and expertise.
The dissent channel is usually used to oppose certain foreign policy decisions. The two most recent cables seem unprecedented in their scope and characterization of the president as a threat to the country.
The cables also reflect anger over the response to the uprising by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a loyal ally of Trump.
Pompeo has condemned the violence at the Capitol but specifically failed to address the role Trump played in encouraging his supporters who stormed the building.
Nor has Pompeo addressed the aftermath or acknowledged that American diplomats overseas may now face new difficulties in promoting democracy.
Trump himself has railed about what he sees as infidelity in the State Department. He once publicly referred to it – and in front of Pompeo and reporters – as “the deep State Department,” an indication of what Trump and his supporters see as a cabal of entrenched bureaucrats seeking to undermine his policies.
It wasn’t immediately clear how many diplomats were signing the cables, both of which were viewed by The Associated Press.
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“It is important that the State Department explicitly denounces President Trump’s role in this violent attack on the US government,” said the first of the two cables, adding that the president’s own comments should not be used “there he’s not believable. ” Vote on this matter. “
“Just as we routinely denounce foreign leaders who use violence and intimidation to interfere with peaceful democratic processes and override the will of their constituents, the ministry’s public statements on this episode should also include President Trump’s name . It is important that we let the world know that no one in our system – not even the president – is above the law or immune from public criticism. “
“This would be a first step towards repairing the damage to our international credibility,” it said. “It would enable the beacon of democracy to continue to shine despite this dark episode. It would also send a strong message to our friends and opponents that the State Department applies an ethos of integrity and objective standards in condemning attacks on democracy at home or abroad. “