Protesters gather on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan 6, 2021. Pro-Trump protesters entered the building after mass demonstrations.
Protesters gather on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan 6, 2021. Pro-Trump protesters entered the building after mass demonstrations. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images via JTA)

Several federal lawmakers from Michigan are also calling for Trump’s removal.

The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) today called for the removal of President Donald Trump from office, either by use of the 25th amendment or impeachment, or through his own resignation, two days after the riots at the U.S. Capitol Building protesting his election loss.

“As this week comes to a close, we must not allow the historic and horrific events of the past 48 hours to simply fade without significant consequences,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt in a statement.

In ADL’s 107- year history, they’ve never called for the President of the United States to be removed from office. But Greenblatt said that Wednesday’s events were “inexcusable”.

“It will forever be remembered as one of the darkest days of American democracy and it makes unambiguously clear: President Trump is unfit for office and needs to be removed,” Greenblatt said.

ADL Michigan’s Regional Director, Carolyn Normandin, stressed how unprecedented this call to action was for the ADL. 

“ADL is principled, we feel like we stay in our lane, but extremists are extremists, they’re not protesters, and this was an assault,” Normandin said. “We felt as if our values obligated us to take a stand. These actions on Wednesday were a threat to democracy and extraordinary actions call for extraordinary response.”

Many rioters inside the capitol were identified as having ties to neo-Nazi groups, and photos show some wearing antisemitic clothing, including one wearing a sweatshirt reading “Camp Auschwitz.” But at least one has been identified as Jewish: Aaron Mostofsky, the son of a prominent New York judge and former president of the National Council of Young Israel.

At least six people with Michigan ties were also arrested in connection with the U.S. Capitol riot, according to the D.C. police. 

Normandin is aware of the Michigan and antisemitic ties to the riot, and realizes it’s something that’s been brewing for years. 

“We’ve seen this kind of violence in Michigan before, we saw it in April in our own capitol, and it happened again in September when our Governor was targeted,” Normandin said. 

Normandin also said that ADL’s Center on Extremism has been working with law enforcement to identify more of the rioters at the capitol, expecting to help them identify several dozen more over the next week. 

“We have very strong ties to members of the FBI, local law enforcement and state police,” Normandin said. “We share information with them because we care about a safe community. If we can help them identify people because we know them from their online profiles and their digital platforms, then we do that, and we do that all the time.” 

Normandin noted that ADL Michigan’s audit of antisemitic incidents in 2015 reported six incidents. In 2019, it was 42 incidents. 

“It is a seven-fold increase. You cannot separate some of these extremist groups from their antisemitism.”

ADL is also calling for a “complete, thorough, and transparent investigation into the failings of law enforcement and Capitol Hill security.”

The ADL joins many other organizations and politicians calling for the removal of President Trump from office in recent days, including Michigan Senator Gary Peters (D) and Democratic U.S. Reps. Andy Levin, Elissa Slotkin, Haley Stevens, Brenda Lawrence, Dan Kildee and Rashida Tlaib.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, from Grand Rapids, has also resigned her Cabinet post.

The Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus (MDJC) has also called for the removal of President Trump from office.

“Following (Wednesday’s) events, the President’s threat to the constitutional order has become imminent, and it is clear the country can no longer afford to wait until January 20th for a new commander-in-chief,” MDJC’s statement said. “We call on the Cabinet to immediately exercise its authority under the 25th Amendment and remove Donald Trump from office. Should the Cabinet fail to act, Congress must swiftly impeach and remove Donald Trump for the acts of sedition he has committed against these United States.”

Other national Jewish groups have criticized Trump since the riots, but few to date outside the ADL have outright called for his removal.

ADL, along with the Stop Hate for Profit coalition, has also called on all social media platforms to permanently remove the President from their services by January 20, and are pushing the hashtag #BanTrumpSaveDemocracy. Facebook has banned Trump from their platform for the remainder of his term, while Twitter temporarily banned him for 12 hours before reinstating his account.

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