The South Carolina Democrat suggested Trump is be unlikely to be removed from office by impeachment with less than two weeks before his term expires.
“No, I do not believe 13 or 14 days are enough to run that. But it’s sure enough for the vice president and the Cabinet members,” Clyburn said, before invoking DeVos and Chao.
“For two Cabinet members to resign, that says to me they are running away from their responsibility. If they feel that strongly, they would stay there and wait on this meeting so they can cast two of the votes that are necessary to invoke the 25th Amendment,” he said. “They are running away.”
Spokespeople for the two resigning secretaries did not immediately return requests for comment on Clyburn’s criticism.
DeVos and Chao on Thursday became the two most high-profile administration officials to resign in protest following the violence at the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, when pro-Trump rioters stormed the building amid congressional certification of Presdient-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. DeVos’s resignation is effective Friday while Chao’s resignation is effective as of Jan. 11.
Prior to the riot — which resulted in the deaths of five people, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer — the president ginned up his supporters at a rally outside the White House, and encouraged them to march on the Capitol. “You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong,” he said.
Scores of Democratic lawmakers, numerous former federal officials, some governors and at least one Republican House member have all demanded Trump’s immediate removal from office. On Thursday, both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, as did Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).
And Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), the assistant House speaker, predicted Friday morning that the full chamber could vote to again impeach Trump as early as the middle of next week. Asked whether that potential timeline was accurate, Clyburn told CNN: “Oh, I think so.”