United States Vice President Mike Pence rejects using the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office.
WASHINGTON: United States Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday (Jan 12) that he is opposed to invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office.
In a letter late Tuesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Pence said the mechanism should not be used “as a means of punishment or usurpation” and reserved for cases of medical or mental incapacitation.
Pelosi has called on Pence to secure the majority of the Cabinet and votes to declare Trump unfit to serve.
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“With just eight days left in the President’s term, you and the Democratic Caucus are demanding that the Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment,” Pence wrote, referring to the process that would declare Trump unable to fulfil his duties and install Pence as acting president for the remainder of the term.
“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution,” he said, hours before the House was to vote on a measure calling on him to initiate the 25th Amendment process or risk an impeachment vote against Trump.
Pence encouraged Congress to avoid actions to “further divide and inflame the passions of the moment” and to focus on smoothing the transition to President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.
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Pelosi has said if Pence rejects use of the 25th Amendment, the House will move to impeach him. Already, at least three Republicans have said they would vote for that.
The House is expected to impeach Trump on Wednesday for his encouragement of supporters who violently stormed the US Capitol, a vote that would make him the first American president to be impeached twice.
While the previous three impeachments – those of Presidents Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Trump – took months before a final vote, including investigations and hearings, this time it will have only taken a week.
For now, the Republican-led Senate is not expected to hold a trial and vote on whether to convict Trump before Biden is sworn in Jan 20. Still, Democrats feel that action by the House would send an important message to the country.