While politicians across the spectrum fashioned their own responses to the carnage on Capitol Hill caused by supporters of President Donald Trump, American businesses moved quickly to punish employees and issue condemnations – and some called for the president’s removal.
Among the earliest to come out against the mayhem that shocked Washington and the world Wednesday was the National Association of Manufacturers.
Jay Timmons, the group’s president and a former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, decried the violence and called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment as a way to remove Trump from the White House.
In his statement, Timmons said: “This is not law and order. This is chaos. It is mob rule. It is dangerous.”
Trump Supporters Storm Capitol Building
“This is sedition and should be treated as such,” Timmons continued. “The outgoing president 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.”
Leaders at Crowell & Moring, one of America’s top law firms, echoed the call while also reaching out to the broader legal community for support.
In a statement, the firm which employs dozens of former government officials, said: “The President has proven himself unfit for office, and a reckless and wanton threat to the Constitution that he pledged to preserve, protect and defend. We call upon the Vice President and the Cabinet officers to invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and to declare to the leaders of Congress that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
On Friday, Lawyers for Good Government, an organization of attorneys who work on human rights and equal justice issues, released a letter signed by more than 6,500 lawyers in all 50 states calling for Trump’s removal.
The leaders of major Wall Street firms, including JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon on Wednesday called on Trump to forcefully condemn the violence but stopped short of saying he should be removed. The comments came before Trump issued a statement, which also included the false claims that he won and the election was stolen from him.
Individual businesses took matters into their own hands. There were several reports of companies firing employees who had participated in the break-in at the Capitol. As pictures began appearing on social media of the rioting, including those released by the D.C. police, some found themselves without a job Thursday. One person who wore his work identification badge was identified and fired by Navistar Direct Marketing of Frederick, Maryland. The company said it supported free speech for its workers but not conduct that endangers others. The employee was not named.
Publisher Simon & Schuster on Thursday abruptly canceled a book penned by Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who led the attempt to block the certification of Joe Biden as president and who was captured on video Wednesday raising his fist in support of the protesters outside the Capitol.
The moves are notable since corporate America has been a steadfast supporter of the Trump administration and what are perceived as its business-friendly policies, such as reducing regulations, cutting taxes and fighting for fairer foreign trade. But there have also been breaks, such as when many top corporate leaders spoke out in support of the Black Live Matter movement and called for greater equality in the economy.
Trade associations representing workers who have been among the most affected by the coronavirus pandemic and Trump’s mishandling of the response were quick to call for his removal from office.
National Nurses United and the National Education Association both issued strongly worded condemnations.
“It was the President who inspired and mobilized the insurrection with his repeated delegitimization of a democratic election, virulent demonization of political opponents, and encouragement in a rally yesterday morning for disruption of the Congressional confirmation of President-elect Biden’s election,” Bonnie Castillo, executive director of the nurses’ group, said.
The president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents employees at many major airlines, said the pro-Trump protesters should be prohibited from flying on planes out of Washington after displaying “mob mentality behavior” on flights. “The mob mentality behavior that took place on several flights to the D.C. area yesterday was unacceptable and threatened the safety and security of every single person on board,” Sara Nelson said in a statement released Wednesday.