INDIANAPOLIS — Dozens of Indiana political science professors are joining a national movement calling for the removal of President Donald Trump from office.
Educators from Indiana University, Notre Dame, and Purdue are among the hundreds who have called on the U.S. Congress, Vice President Mike Pence, and the Cabinet to immediately remove President Trump from office – either through the impeachment process or by invoking the 25th Amendment.
In an open letter, they write:
“The President’s actions threaten American democracy. He has rejected the peaceful transfer of power, encouraged state legislators to overturn election results in their states, pressured a state official to change election results, and now incited a violent mob that shut down the counting of electoral votes and stormed the U.S. Capitol.”OPEN LETTER FROM POLITICAL SCIENTISTS
“I think the fact that this letter exists is a pretty big signal that my colleagues across the country are really quite concerned about the things that we’re seeing,” said Assistant Professor of Political Science at Indiana University-Bloomington, Steven Webster.
Webster said watching the chaos at the US Capitol Building on Wednesday convinced him to sign his name on the letter.
“Seeing people attack the US Capitol, ransack offices of the Speaker of the House, and take over the floor of the senate and the house – and do so because they were incited by rhetoric from the leader of our country – you know, to put it mildly, that’s quite alarming,” said Webster.
The letter claims the President’s actions show he is unwilling or unable to fulfill his oath to protect and defend the Constitution.
“He should be removed from office immediately before further violence takes place or further damage is done to our democracy,” the letter reads.
While political scientists may study politics, Webster said they seldom get in the middle of them.
“I think it’s just important for people who study democracy and care for our democracy to stand up and say this is not right,” said Webster.
Tony Samuel, a prominent Republican who was vice chairman of Donald Trump’s 2016 Indiana presidential campaign, said the professors’ efforts come too little, too late.
“[President Trump has] less than two weeks left in office and he said there will be a peaceful transfer of power, so I think it’s a waste of time and again just more politicization of a bad situation,” said Samuel.
Webster admits time is running out, but said signing the letter – in his eyes – was to set a standard.
“There needs to be a signal that is sent that this is not behavior that we would expect from the leader of the world’s greatest democracy,” said Webster. “There are liberals, conservatives, democrats and republicans alike who have signed that letter. This is not partisan. This is people alarmed by what we’re seeing.”