Top U.S. military officials on Tuesday issued a joint statement condemning the "sedition and insurrection" on Capitol Hill last week, reminding the military of their duty to uphold the Constitution and ensure a peaceful transfer of power.
The statement, issued by Mark Milley and the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff - consisting of chiefs of staff of all branches of the armed forces - said "the U.S. military will obey lawful order from civilian leadership, support civilian authorities to protect lives and property, ensure public safety in accordance with the law, and remain fully committed to protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."
"As Service Members, we must embody the values and ideals of the Nation. We support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oath; it is against the law," read the statement.
The military leaders also acknowledged President-elect Joe Biden's election victory, saying "President-elect Biden will be inaugurated and will become our 46th Commander in Chief."
The message from the nation's highest-ranking military officers came in the wake of the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of President Donald Trump's supporters that interrupted Congress's certification of the results of the 2020 election and left five people, including a Capitol police officer, dead.
House Democrats on Monday formally introduced the article of impeachment against Trump, charging him with "incitement of insurrection."
The House will hold a floor vote later Tuesday on a Democratic-proposed resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. If Pence doesn't respond within 24 hours, according to the resolution, the Democrats will push the impeachment proceedings ahead.
Trump called the impeachment "ridiculous" Tuesday morning, saying later while he was inspecting the border wall in Alamo, Texas, that the 25th Amendment "is of zero risk to me."