The head of a significant United States business group that represents 14,000 companies including Exxon Mobil Corp, Pfizer Inc and Toyota Motor Corp urged senior US officials to consider removing President Donald Trump from office after supporters of the outgoing president stormed the US 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 favour 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 January 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 the biggest US 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.”
Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of investment firm Blackstone and one of Wall Street’s most prominent backers of Trump, condemned the mob and called for an orderly transfer of power to Biden.
“The insurrection that followed the president’s remarks today is appalling and an affront to the democratic values we hold dear as Americans,” Schwarzman said in a statement. “I am shocked and horrified by this mob’s attempt to undermine our constitution. As I said in November, the outcome of the election is very clear and there must be a peaceful transition of power.”
The head of the US 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 US Chamber of Commerce, in a statement.