On Tuesday evening, US Vice President Mike Pence told House leaders through a letter that he does not support invoking the 25th Amendment process to remove President Donald Trump, just a week before his term ends. Although the letter was specifically addressed to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 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.
“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 to Pelosi, referring to the process that would declare President Trump unable to fulfill 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.
The vice president’s letter came just hours before the House of Representatives was to vote on a resolution that calls on Pence to initiate the 25th Amendment process and “declare what is obvious to a horrified nation: that the President is unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office.” He also pointed out that despite intense pressure from within his party to invalidate the electoral votes from swing states won by Biden, he fulfilled his constitutional duty to certify the results. “I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our nation,” he wrote.
Despite the Vice President ruling out the amendment, Pelosi has said that no matter what, in response to the Capitol siege last week, the House will move to impeach the President. Apart from the democrats, at least three Republicans have said they would vote in favor of the impeachment.
Reacting to the 25th Amendment before it was ruled out, President Trump told reporters, that he is not concerned about the 25th amendment allowing his cabinet to remove him from office, “The 25th amendment is of zero risk to me,” said President Trump, as he spoke in front of a section of the Mexico border wall in Texas. The President added that using the 25th amendment in this new way “will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration. As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for.”