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What Can Come From DC Protests, for the White House, the GOP, the Nation? More Protest Reactions

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Central New York reactions continue after the insurrection in Washington D.C., including calls to remove the President for promoting violence.  WAER’s Chris Bolt reports on legal ramifications and how to move forward after the shocking activities in the seat of our government.

The most stark reaction Thursday came from NY Senator Chuck Schumer who this morning held nothing back in calling for the removal of President Trump using the 25th amendment.  He said it could be done by the Vice President and cabinet members, and that the President should not hold office one more day. 

Congress member John Katko agrees to an extent … that Trump fanned the flames of violence, but finds removal unrealistic.

“it’s not just a matter of tapping him on the shoulder, ‘come with us, we’re invoking the 25th amendment.’ The cabinet and the Vice President need to send a notification to the House and the Senate.  The President has the opportunity to contest it and litigate it in the House and the Senate.”

Hear more from John Katko on the protests, his criticisms of the president, and how we can move forward, in a media call.


Similarly , he says impeachment is not feasible, given the short timetable, with Trump in office only 13 more days.  Katko, after endorsing Trump, turned on him, saying he wouldn’t have backed him if he knew then what he knows now.  Katko says he warned Capitol police in advance to be prepared for violence, and offered to head an investigation into police decision making.

As for pro-Trump extremists who breached the Capitol halls, some might argue about the level of law-breaking and threat to the nation, but not Syracuse University Law Professor Bill Banks.

“We certainly do have laws that forbid sedition; we have laws that forbid insurrection.  There’s a federal statute that forbade something called ‘seditious conspiracy’, 2 or more people coming together through the use of violence to obstruct government.  And hat’s exactly what went on (Wednesday).”

And Banks squarely blames trump, calling him the ‘Conspirator in Chief.”  He believes Joe Biden’s leadership style, as an empathetic man, can calm tensions between very polarized lawmakers and public. 

“One of the opportunities that’s presented by the outrages of the President’s conduct since the November 3rd election, is for the Republican Party to actually try to reinvent itself in a different image.  They can walk away form Trumpism and try to create a viable Republican Party.”

Syracuse University Law professor Bill Banks shares more about legal aspects of the protests, what laws were broken, what it might mean for the President, and the nation going forward. Hear his interview here with WAER News Director Chris Bolt.

John Katko, who repeated that he disagreed with GOP colleagues that were still trying to challenge election results, but says debating in a civil fashion and listening to other views, is needed to move forward.   

“Look at my colleagues … looking to decertify the election.  I couldn’t disagree with them more.  I wasn’t shooting at them.  I tried to have conversations with them.  I think we need to try to do that, but it seems lately people believe their opinion on a political issue is the only one that matters.  And it’s not just the Right, the Left is the same way.  And that’s what’s frustrating to me who tries to work with both sides.  So I think going forward, we all have to do a better job of that.  All of us.  … The media has a role in this; I have a role in this; leaders have a role in this.  We all do.”

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.