U.S. business leaders denounced Donald Trump for inciting supporters who mobbed the U.S. Capitol, with the head of the National Association of Manufacturers saying Vice President Mike Pence should “seriously consider” working with the Cabinet to remove the president from office.
Jay Timmons, head of the lobbying group that backed many of Trump’s initiatives, raised the prospect of invoking the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to cut short Trump’s remaining days in office. President-elect Joe Biden is to be sworn into office on Jan. 20.
“Throughout this whole disgusting episode, Trump has been cheered on by members of his own party, adding fuel to the distrust that has inflamed violent anger,” Timmons said in a statement today. “This is not law and order. This is chaos. It is mob rule. It is dangerous. This is sedition and should be treated as such.”
The 25th Amendment outlines a process in which a president “who is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” can be removed and replaced by the vice president.
Other business groups and leaders condemned the rioting, as law enforcement regained control of the Capitol on Wednesday evening.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon called for violence at the Capitol to end.
Although he didn’t single out Trump by name, he said, “Our elected leaders have a responsibility to call for an end to the violence, accept the results and, as our democracy has for hundreds of years, support the peaceful transition of power.”
Similarly, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock Inc., condemned “in the strongest possible terms the violence at our Capitol today.”
“The peaceful transfer of power is the foundation of our democracy,” Fink said in a statement. “We are who we are as a nation because of our democratic institutions and process.”
Wells Fargo & Co. CEO Charles Scharf urged “an immediate end to this violence. We must embark on the peaceful transition of power to President-elect Biden, a hallmark of our republic,” he said in a statement.
The Business Roundtable, a lobbying group for top chief executives, called on Trump and “all relevant officials to put an end to the chaos and to facilitate the peaceful transition of power.”
“The chaos unfolding in the nation’s capital is the result of unlawful efforts to overturn the legitimate results of a democratic election,” the group said. “The country deserves better.”
Tom Donohue, CEO of the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said Congress should “gather again this evening to conclude their Constitutional responsibility to accept the report of the Electoral College.”
Hours after Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol, the president issued a short video praising their embrace of his false claims of election fraud but asking them to “go home.”
Pence, who was escorted from the building and his role overseeing the certification, tweeted that “The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now.”