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US elections 2020

US business group urges officials to consider quick removal of Trump

Cabinet should invoke 25th Amendment, says head of manufacturers association

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump protest in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on Jan. 6.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The head of a major U.S. business group that represents 14,000 companies including Exxon Mobil Corp, Pfizer Inc and Toyota Motor Corp urged senior U.S. officials to consider removing President Donald Trump from office after supporters of the outgoing president stormed the U.S. Capitol.

National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons said Trump "incited violence in an attempt to retain power, and any elected leader defending him is violating their oath to the Constitution and rejecting democracy in favor of anarchy.... Vice President (Mike) Pence, who was evacuated from the Capitol, should seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy."

Trump has 14 days remaining in office before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20.

Other business groups issued strong statements but did not go as far as the manufacturers' group.

The Business Roundtable, an association of chief executives of some of America's biggest companies, said "the chaos unfolding in the nation's capital is the result of unlawful efforts to overturn the legitimate results of a democratic election."

They called on Trump "and all relevant officials to put an end to the chaos and to facilitate the peaceful transition of power," the group said in a statement.

JPMorgan Chase Chairman and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon 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. Now is the time to come together to strengthen our exceptional union."

The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a powerful business lobby based near the White House, said that "attacks against our nation's Capitol Building and our democracy must end now" and called for Congress to resume work on Wednesday, despite the violent disruption.

"The Congress of the United States must gather again this evening to conclude their Constitutional responsibility to accept the report of the Electoral College," said Thomas Donohue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a statement.

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