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NC governor, congressional members call for Trump’s removal

January 7, 2021 GMT
FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, people listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Washington. The U.S. registered its highest deaths yet from the coronavirus on the same day as a mob attack on the nation’s capitol laid bare some of the same, deep political divisions that have hampered the battle against the pandemic. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
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FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, people listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Washington. The U.S. registered its highest deaths yet from the coronavirus on the same day as a mob attack on the nation’s capitol laid bare some of the same, deep political divisions that have hampered the battle against the pandemic. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
1 of 10
FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, people listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Washington. The U.S. registered its highest deaths yet from the coronavirus on the same day as a mob attack on the nation’s capitol laid bare some of the same, deep political divisions that have hampered the battle against the pandemic. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has called for President Donald Trump to be removed from office if he does not resign.

“This president has betrayed our country and is therefore unfit to lead it,” said a signed statement Cooper posted to Twitter on Thursday afternoon. “He should resign or be removed from office.”

The calls for Trump’s ouster come a day after a mob of violent Trump supporters - wanting to keep him in power - broke into the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. as Congress was counting the electoral votes that confirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s win. The counting was halted for six hours.

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Before the joint congressional session, Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, called for the president’s supporters to engage in “trial by combat.” Trump then urged his rally-goers to march over to the Capitol.

“You’ll never take back our country with weakness,” Trump said. “You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”

Democrats accuse Trump of inciting a riot that led to the deaths of four people. Several Trump administration officials have since resigned.

Cooper’s push for Trump’s exit comes after three North Carolina congressional Democrats called to have the 25th Amendment invoked in order to remove Trump from office. Representatives David Price, Alma Adams and Kathy Manning said they would also favor impeachment. The amendment allows for the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare a president unfit for office. The vice president then becomes acting president.

Democratic Rep. G.K. Butterfield of Wilson wants Vice President Mike Pence to “discuss” invoking the 25th Amendment. He also said he fears Congress lacks “sufficient time to engage in an impeachment proceeding.”

Cooper, the mild-mannered governor of North Carolina, has often been reluctant to criticize Trump by name, though he’s long maintained he’s willing to vocalize actions he opposes. Most notably, the two clashed in May after Cooper refused Trump’s demand for a mask-free, full-capacity crowd at his Republican National Convention.

Of the eight Republican members of North Carolina’s House delegation, only one - Rep. Patrick McHenry - voted to certify the Electoral College vote. All five Democrats in the House delegation and Republican U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis also voted for certification. The seven Republican members of Congress who objected to the Electoral College count were: Dan Bishop, Ted Budd, Madison Cawthorn, Richard Hudson, David Rouzer, Virginia Foxx and Greg Murphy.

The joint session of Congress ultimately confirmed the elections of Democrats Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

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Follow Anderson on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BryanRAnderson.

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Anderson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.